HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
WARREN EDWARD MORRIS
Not a Ranger — At present commanding officer over all around him.
A nephew of_W. J. L. Sullivan. Son of Mr. and Mrs.
EdwardS. Morris, of Carthage, Texas.
Digitized by the Internet Archive
in 2012 with funding from
LYRASIS Members and Sloan Foundation
TWELVE YEARS IN THE
FOR LAW AND ORDER
FRONTIERS OF TEXAS
SERGEANT W. J. L. SULLIVAN
CO. B, FRONTIER BATTALION
VON BOECKM ANN-JONES CO., PRINTERS
W. J. L. SULLIVAN
My Ancestry 1
A Runaway 3
Better Days. 8
An Indian Raid 12
A Thief 15
Ben Hughes 17
A Buffalo Hunt : 18
A Stolen Herd 20
Hanging of Bill Longley 25
Capture of Henry Carothers 27
An Exciting Fisticuff 33
Waterspout at Quanah 37
Five People Beg for Bread 39
The Murder of Hartman 41
Chase After Del Dean 47
Capture of Morris, a Noted Murderer 49
Arrest of Hollingsworth 53
Capture of Mayes, Noted Horsethief 58
Exciting Experiences 64
Indians on the Warpath 72
Opening of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Strip 74
A Cup and Saucer Event 76
A Prisoner Escapes 77
Capture of Rip Pearce 79
Practical Joker Gets Into Trouble 81
Race Thomas 83
A Sad Farewell. 86
Clever Thief is Caught 89
The Gordon Train Robbery 98
Surrender of Four Train Robbers 107
Pursuit of Bill Cook and Jim Turner 113
A Miserable Night 125
Experiences with a Bear Skin Overcoat 127
A Lively Chase 131
Battle in the Dugout 144
Exciting Experiences with Indians 155
Arrest of Jerome Loftos 163
Capture and Trial of Crump 167
Capture of Ihart and Sprey 172
Preventing a Prize Fight 178
A Bank Robbery 182
Call to Hartley 189
On the Trail of Train Robbers 192
The San Saba Mob 197
A Bad Dog 201
A Good Time Lost 205
Fording the River 208
Assault with Intent to Kiss 210
Capture of Wax Lee 214
The Cowboys Reunion 218
Hidden Witnesses 222
Hanging of Morrison 227
A Prayer 230
I Shoot Myself 234
Call for Protection 240
Unknown Victim of a Gun Fight 247
A Last Farewell 261
Texas Rangers After the Mob 255
Cowboy's Hymn , 258
Song Ballad of Dying Ranger 261
The Old Cowboy of the Plains 263
Sundry Letters to the Author 262-284
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
Ranger Force at El Paso 16
Cherokee Bill 32
Captain Brooks and his Rangers 48
Sullivan in 1896 64
Sergeant Sullivan in Camp 80
Bill Cook 112
Two Ranger Boys 144
Ranger Camp on'San Saba River 192
Marshall of Day at Cowboys Reunion 208
At the Cowboys Reunion 224
Wounded and imPeril 240
In offering this book to the public, I have not
undertaken to present a history of my life. I do
not consider my life of enough importance to war-
rant making a book about it. What I have un-
dertaken to do is to tell some of the exciting
experiences that have fallen to the lot of that
noble band, the Texas Ranger force, of which I
haxl the honor to be a member for twelve years.
I had the leading part, it is true, in the incidents
related, but the reader will see that I was not the
whole show — there were others. I have prefixed
some brief notes concerning my ancestry, and
some incidents of my youth, and have followed
with true accounts, written in my own plain way,
of the principal events of my career as a Sergeant
of the Rangers.
I have introduced plates herein, made from
photographs, showing the faces of some of the
most noted criminals in the annals of Texas ; also
photo illustrations of some of my dear comrades —
all of them, in fact, that I could procure for this
edition of my book. In a future edition, I will
probably be able to add the likenesses of others.
For valuable assistance in the preparation of
these pages, I am indebted to numerous friends,
who I will not enumerate by name, but whose
kindness will ever be remembered by me. I solicit
their continued help, and will appreciate sugges-
tions that may be made by these and other friends
and patriotic Texans in general, for use in a con-
templated future edition of this work.
With a respectful bow to my audience — the
public — and a plea for their indulgence instead of
their exacting criticism, I am,
Very cordially, The Author,
W. J. L. SULLIVAN.
Page 79, third line from bottom of first paragraph, should read
"when I heard him make this remark," instead of "when I made
him make this remark."
Page 110, seventh line on the page, should read "Just after we
entered the house," instead of "Just before we entered the house."
My father, Tom Sullivan, was born and
raised at No. 99 Broome Street, New York City,
where he engaged in business as a master me-
chanic. My grandfather, John Sullivan, was
born in Ireland. He and my grandmother
moved to New York City and settled on Broome
Street, where my father, who was an only child,
was born. My grandfather was a Mason by or-
der and also by occupation. Just before my fa-
ther's death my grandfather wrote him that he
was coming to him to bring him fifteen hundred
dollars that he had collected from the rents of
my father's property, which was in the City of
New York. He started out with the money, as
he said he would, and has never been heard of
up to seven years ago, when a bank book of his
was found in a savings bank in New York.
My father went to Perry County, Alabama,
and met and married my mother, Summer Mc-
Farlen, and they moved to Winston County,
Mississippi, where my father engaged in farm-
ing until his death.
Please do not write in this
book or turn down the pages
I was born in Winston County, Mississippi, on
the 10th day of July, in 1851. My father had
died seventy-nine days before my birth, leaving
my mother with three other children besides me.
Later on my mother married a Mr. Presley, of
Leek County, and two children were born to them.
My stepfather moved with us to Bradley County,
Arkansas, where my mother died when I was but
eight years of age.
My stepfather married again. That left me, as
it proved to be, in a bad predicament. I had no
father nor mother, and my stepfather, after my
mother's death, had married another woman. My
only sister also married, and soon after that my
brother, Tom, died, which left my other brother,
Jim, and me to take care of ourselves as best we
could. Our troubles had only begun, however, for
in 1861 the Civil War broke out, and my stepfa-
ther, Mr. Presley, and my brother-in-law went to
the front, where both were killed, fighting for the
cause of the Confederacy. When Presley went to
the war he left Jim and me with his father-in-law,
a Mr. Jeams. It was a cruel fate for us to meet.
"Old man Jeams," as he was commonly called, was
very hard on Jim and me. A merciless tyrant,
with no feeling or principle, he beat us many times
until we were so stunned and stupefied that we
could not realize whether we were dead or alive.
It is a terrible thing for poor, little, innocent chil-
4 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
dren to fall into the tight, greedy clutches of such
a man as this.
Jeams was known all over that section of the
country as a hard character, and the soldiers sta-
tioned in that vicinity learned how brutal he was
to my brother and me and paid him a visit one
night, about two o'clock, to adjust matters with
him with the aid of a new rope, which one of the
men carried for convenience on the horn of his sad-
dle. There were about twenty-five in the party,
and they called Jeams out to the gate for an inter-
view. One man in the squad, a Mr. Bloxom, had
a greater grudge than the others against Jeams;
for the latter had stolen a fine milk cow from Blox-
om's widowed daughter, of which fact Bloxom had
informed the others of the party. After getting
Jeams out of the house, they asked him where the
two little boys were, who lived with him. Jeams
answered that they were in bed. They then told
him to rouse us and bring us to the gate, which he
promptly did. They asked us if we were living
with "old man Jonathan Jeams. " We told them
that we were. Then they asked us if our stepfa-
ther and brother-in-law were not fighting in the
war. We answered that they were. The soldiers
then asked us if it was not true that Jeams beat
and abused us a great deal. They immediately
followed that question up with other inquiries as
to the manner in which we were generally mis-
treated by our stepfather's father-in-law. Brother
Jim was afraid to tell them the truth, for fear his
guardian would make it all the harder for him in
the future, so he denied that he was mistreated,
and said that Jeams was good to us.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 5
I spoke up when Jim got through and told the
soldiers that my brother was afraid to tell the
truth; that Jeams whipped and abused us all the
time, and that occasionally he would beat us nearly
to death. Jim contradicted the things that I told
them, but the soldiers said that if his story had cor-
roborated mine, they would break Jeams' neck
right there with their rope. This talk, however,
frightened Jim all the more, and when they asked
him again if "Old Jeams" wasn't making slaves of
us, he vigorously denied it. They asked Jim if
Jeams had stolen the cow that belonged to Blox-
om's daughter, but Jim got further from the truth
than ever, and denied that too. I knew that
Jeams had stolen the cow and killed her for beef,
and I told the soldiers that; but the statements
that Jim and I had made were conflicting, and the
soldiers would not hang him.
They still believed Jeams to be guilty, however,
and lectured him about an hour and a half before
they let him go to bed. They told him they
would watch him after that, and see that he con-
ducted himself properly as long as he lived in that
community. Jim and I went back to bed, but
could sleep no more the rest of the night for think-
ing over this exciting episode.
If Jim had not been so frightened, and had borne
me out in my statements, the soldiers would have
hung Jeams, and from that hour we would have
been entirely and forever free from that heartless
tyrant; but, as it was, we lay in our bed the re-
mainder of that eventful night, debating, in whis-
ers, as to whether the soldiers' visit, since it re-
sulted as it did, would make our life more pleasant
6 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
or more miserable. Since Jeams had heard what
I had to say to the soldiers, and since he was per-
mitted to live on guard over me, I decided that he
was going to make things even more disagreeable
for me, if possible, than ever before; so I told my
brother that I was going to make my escape the
next day if I got a chance.
I knew that the sooner I got off the better, so at
twelve o'clock I bade my brother good-bye,
climbed over the fence behind the barn, and hit
the trail like a deer. I ran as swiftly as my legs
could carry me, and jumped over logs and bushes
to save the time it would take to go around them.
A few times I looked back just long enough to see
if I was being pursued; then I would run faster
than ever on my way to Mr. Bloxom, the man
whose daughter's cow was stolen by Jeams. I en-
joyed the prospects of getting out of Jeams' reach.
If I had not run away from him, he would have
made a " ship- wreck" of me for telling the soldiers
about his lawlessness. Soon I, myself, was to be
with those soldiers, and to have their protection,
and I was glad.
When I reached Bloxom' s home he saluted me,
and told me that I had done right, and asked me
where my brother was. I told him that he was
still in Jeams' hands. Bloxom then took occasion
to remark that Jeams would have been a dead man,
if my brother's story had not conflicted with the
statements which I had made the night before. I
asked Mr. Bloxom if he thought I could stay with
the soldiers. He assured me that I could, and got
his son, Tom, to saddle his horse and take me over
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 7
to Carter's regiment. I rode behind Tom, and we
reached the soldiers' camp some time after dark.
Jeams guessed that I had gone to Bloxom' s and
put my brother on a mule and sent him over there
in search of me. Bloxom advised him to join me
and stay with the army. Jim told him that he
couldn't do that, as he had the "old man's" mule,
and that he had to go back on that account.
Bloxom sent the mule back to Jeams by a soldier,
and some one conducted Jim to the regiment
where I had gone, he reaching camp an hour or two
after I did. Jim was afraid to run away, but felt
mightily relieved when the soldiers took us with
them and gave us their protection.
8 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Never shall I forget the night that Brother and
I reached the soldiers' camp, when we first joined
Carter's regiment. Everything seemed very dif-
ferent from what we were used to, but we felt eas-
ier and more comfortable. We were not afraid
that we would be jerked up at any moment and
cuffed about and abused, as was Jeams' manner of
treating us. The soldiers felt sorry for Jim and me
and treated us as kindly as they could. Col. Gid-
dings had charge of this regiment, and knowing the
plight we were in told us that we could stay with
his men as long as we wished. We were too young
to fight, but we began to feel as if we were real sol-
diers. Once, while we were with the regiment, the
soldiers captured, somewhere on the Arkansas
River, four hundred mules, one hundred and twen-
ty-five or thirty wagons, and several Yankees. At
another place, we captured about three hundred
We had been with the regiment about fifteen
months, when three of the soldiers, Trave Burton,
Bill Henley and Leonard Burns, got furloughs to
go home. This was about two months before the
close of the war. The three men asked Brother
Jim and me to go home with them. We accepted
their kind invitation, and with them left the army.
For a little while I lived with Leonard Burns, and
James stayed with Trave Burton. Later on, how-
ever, we got together, and both of us lived with Mr.
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 9
and Mrs. Bill Henley, with whom we stayed for a
number of years, not leaving them until we were
Mr. and Mrs. Henley were like father and mother
to James and me. I never knew before what it was
to be in such a good home. It seemed a paradise
to me, who had been left an orphan boy, unpro-
tected, and at the mercy of rough, careless, unfeel-
ing people, and I could well appreciate my new sur-
roundings. It is sad for little children to be left
without a father and mother to take care of them,
and when poor, little orphans endure what James
and I had to bear, they should be very thankful
when they are placed in a good home, as we were.
God pity the orphan children of this world, and
may He bless the kind-hearted people who take
them in and raise them to become useful men and
Mr. and Mrs. Henley always taught and encour-
aged us to be honest and industrious, and to have
a proper regard for the law. Through respect for
their memory, and because I owed it to myself and
to my own father and mother who died in my in-
fancy, I always lived up to those teachings. Since
I have served the people of Texas as a ranger and
dealt with numerous criminals, I have learned
through personal observation, the wisdom of the
teachings of those good old people. The world is
full of tragedies, and, having been a state officer
for over twelve years, I have witnessed many
of them myself. Many criminals have brought
shame, misery and trouble upon themselves, their
families and their friends, because they started out
in their youth with no respect for the laws of God
10 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
and man. In the following chapters I shall tell
you the tragic story of dozens of criminals who
wound up their careers in the penitentiary — or, in
a few instances, at the rope's end.
In some cases the men had no parents, while
children, to care for them, nor any one else to
teach them how to become honest, upright and
useful. In other cases, however, they were men
who had parents, but, while young and "smart,"
had disregarded the teachings of their elders, and,
later on, had flagrantly violated the laws of their
country, until they were finally locked within the
four walls of a penitentiary, their liberty gone, and
themselves disgraced and despised. They are left
in dark, lonely cells to brood day and night over
their unhappy fate, and to realize the folly of their
I have encountered many men who appeared, at
first sight, to be good, but who were really tough
characters, and who, unfortunaltey, possessed
much influence for evil over their companions.
Thus, young people should be very careful with
whom they associate. I have, also, seen men in
good circumstances disobey the law for some ma-
terial acquisition, and lose whatever they had
thereby gained, together with all they ever pos-
sessed before, trying to stave off the prosecution;
and they were fortunate, even at that, if they are
not finally sent to the penitentiary. With these
impressive lessons before me, and because I ever
wanted to do my duty and be honest, thereby
gaining my own self-respect, I always tried to do
what I thought was right, and I respected and
obeyed the laws of my country. Once or twice,
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 11
when I was young, I laid wagers with money, and
several times I drank whiskey ; but I soon saw the
folly in these, the only vicious habits that I ever
started, and nipped them in the bud. For twelve
years my business took me into the worst saloons,
gambling dens, and low dives in Texas, but I al-
ways managed to keep from falling into the habits
of the people whom I encountered in these places.
I am getting old now, and, as people usually do
in their declining years, I spend many of my idle
hours in meditation, thinking ever of the incidents
of my past life ; and, while thus reviewing my rec-
ord as an officer and an honest citizen, I am re-
warded with the only genuine happiness and satis-
faction that man can experience whild, with totter-
ing footsteps, he is nearing the gateway through
which he passes into the unknown world beyond.
12 Twelve Years in the Saddle. ■
An Indian Raid
In 1871 I joined a party of cattlemen who were
on their way to Ellsworth, Kansas, to which place
they were driving three thousand head of cattle,
which belonged to Tom Pullman and a Mr. Mat-
thews. These two gentlemen owned three more
herds of beeves, with about three thousand head
to a herd.
We were traveling on the Tom Chism Trail,
which led to Smoky River. This was in the early
days, before there were any railroads to amount to
anything in Texas, and cattle had to be driven all
the way to Kansas across country.
The Tom Chism Trail was always lined all the
way from Texas to Kansas. It was a great sight
to see so many cattle driven on this trail, all bound
for the same market. One could look forward or
backward and not be able to see the end of the
long string of cattle.
I was just a young man then, and went along to
help drive this herd of cattle to market. I en-
joyed the trip very much, as the scenery was beau-
tiful and camping out was delightful for us cow-
The grass all along the route was as fine as it
could be, and kept the cattle reasonably fat, con-
sidering the long journey, and when they reached
their destination it would only take a few days
rest to get them in perfect condition.
Those were great days in Texas, when money
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 13
was plentiful and wages good. We received splen-
did pay for driving cattle and the work was most
enjoyable. Game was plentiful all the way from
Texas to Kansas. The country was full of elk,
buffalo, antelope and deer, and we always had
plenty of venison to eat, after our appetites were
sharpened from a day's riding in the saddle.
We had our cattle bedded near the Canadian
River one rainy night, and Tom Murphy, of Austin,
and I were guarding them. At twelve o'clock
that night about fifteen Indians made a sudden
raid on the cattle and stampeded them. The cat-
tle and horses were very much frightened and
scattered in every direction. All the cowboys
came to our rescue.
The first dash the Indians made they cut off
about seventy-five cattle from the herd. The
other cattle then ran about two miles and a half
in a circle before they "broke the mill."
I was on my saddle when the Indians made the
raid, but I was nodding. My horse, however, in-
stantly realized the situation and made a spring
forward, throwing me behind the saddle before I
roused myself sufficiently to know what the trou-
ble was. It happened, however, that I succeeded
in grabbing the horn of my saddle, and I finally
managed to regain my proper position.
It was impossible to control the cattle, as the
Indians had so badly frightened them. All of
them got away from us that night except fifty
head, and it took us two weeks to gather them all
up, as they scattered for miles over the country.
When we got them rounded up we took them
14 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
on to Kansas without further trouble and sold
The Indians captured in their raid on our herd
about one hundred head of cattle in all, and I
imagine they had quite a feast.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 15
While I was in Quanah, in 1896, helping to hold
court in the George Isaacs case, four hundred beef
steers were brought into town one day from the
Spur ranch. Eighteen cowboys came in with the
cattle, and before they left town one of them stole
a suit of clothes and a gold watch from a Mr. Great-
house, a merchant of Quanah. Bob Dawson came
to me while I was in court helping to guard Isaacs
and told me that he wanted me to assist them in
running down the thief. I told him that I would;
so we got our horses and started out after the cow-
We followed them fifteen miles to a place where
they had stopped for dinner, and we arrested them
and told them that we wanted to search the whole
outfit for the clothes and watch.
They said, "all right/' and we made the search
and found the stolen articles; so we took the boss
out and told him that he had better advise the
guilty party to "own up," or we would have to
take the whole bunch back to town. He failed to
get a confession from any of them, so we arrested
the whole bunch, boss and all, and escorted them
In the party there was one man, who weighed
about 260 pounds, who kept edging around me,
trying to get hold of my sixshooter, but I stood
him off, and we made him hitch up the wagon and
take the others back to Quanah. They had a hun-
16 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
dred head of cow ponies, and they took them back
with them. When we marched into Quanah with
the men and ponies, everybody yelled out, " Yon-
der comes Coxey's army."
About dark one of the men, by the name of
Sloane, plead guilty. His brother had begged him
to confess, which he did. He was lodged in the
Quanah jail, and was charged with stealing enough
property to land him in the penitentiary, but the
state made it a finable offense, and his companions
paid it out and they left together for their ranch,
a happy set of cowboys.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. IT
While trying to capture Ben Hughes, who was
wanted for train robbery in the Indian Territory,
the officers had a fierce battle with him, during
which Deputy Sheriff Whitehead, who was a Cher-
okee Indian, was killed. Hughes was tried for
this, but was acquitted, as the killing occurred at
night and no one saw him shoot Whitehead, and it
could not be proven that he was responsible for the
I carried Ben Hughes' wife from the Union de-
pot in Fort Worth to the Windsor Hotel, with in-
structions from Grude Britton, who was sergeant
at that time, to make a thorough search for money.
Mrs. Windsor, the proprietress of the hotel, as-
sisted me in making the search on Mrs. Hughes'
person for the money which we thought her hus-
band had gotten and turned over to her. I got
Mrs. Windsor to help me in searching the woman,
because I felt a delicacy in making a search on the
person of a lady. I had the respect for her that
any gentleman should have for a lady, even if I
was searching her for stolen money. I only found
about twelve or fifteen dollars on her, and she said
that was her own money; so I let her keep it. Mrs.
Hughes looked to be about twenty-five years of
Sam Farmer and Sergeant J. M. Britton took
Hughes to Dallas and placed him in jail, and Mrs.
Hughes left that evening for Palo Pinto County.
18 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
A Buffalo Hunt
E. N. Waldrup, Bob Gunn and I left Logan's
Gap, Comanche County, February, 1877, for Tom
Green County on a big buffalo hunt, intending to
make Jim Criner's ranch our headquarters. Criner
was a brother-in-law of Bob Gunn.
After reaching Tom Green County, I saw about
a mile ahead of me a bunch of buffalo, and re-
marked to one of the boys that I was going to rope
one of them. I dismounted, tightened my saddle
girths, and mounted again and made for the bunch
of buffalo. They were traveling east. The morn-
ing was very cold, as the wind was blowing from
the east. As soon as they discovered me they
started in a run for their life. There were about
one hundred and fifty in the bunch. I ran on to
a three-year old bull, threw my lariat, but it failed
to catch, as I was throwing against the wind,
which was very high. The second throw I put
him into my loop. The high, fast bucking and
pulling came off then and there. Birch, my horse,
was not thoroughly trained and didn't like the
scent of buffalo at all. I had a hard time con-
trolling him with this raging, rearing beast tied to
the horn of my saddle, as this was about the first
bunch of buffalo Birch had ever seen, and the only
one he had ever been tied to. Birch and I were
like the man that bought the elephant — didn't
hardly know what to do with him. I made two
runs around the buffalo and got his legs tangled
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 19
in my lariat. I then made a straight run on him,
" busting' ' him against the ground. When he got
up he discovered our horses and wagons and took
the outfit for his brother bunch of buffalo. He
then made a run for horses and wagon, and when
we got to the wagon I decided to take him to Jim
Criner's ranch, which was about ten or twelve
miles distant, and neck him to a steer. I tied him
to the hind axle of the wagon, and he led as docile
as any horse for about three hundred yards, and
all at once he took a notion to stop, and the horses
pulling the wagon took a notion to stop also. We
started the horses up again, and they kept pulling
until they led him over, at the same time jerking
his right shoulder out of place. I had him to kill
then, and lost my buffalo. This was a grand old
hunt, and proved very profitable to us. The buf-
falo in that country were as thick as cattle and
went from three to ten thousand in a bunch.
There were also thousands of antelope, and wild
turkeys were so thick that^they would hardly get
out of one's way.
20 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
A Stolen Herd
I was employed, in 1877, by Bill Yoakum, a cat-
tleman, to help him drive a herd of three hundred
cattle from his place in Comanche County to Clear
Fork, on the Brazos River. While in his service,
Yoakum told me that he and Jim Gregg, who was
Yoakum's partner for several years, had stolen
these cattle and burnt their brands out and put on
another brand. He told me that he had stolen
the cattle out of Tarrant, Johnson, Collins and
other counties, and that he never took over five
head out of the same range. He also said that he
had made it a rule to steal only from men who
were no able to prosecute him heavily if he was
One day Yoakum asked me to join him, saying
that we would make a fortune stealing cattle, but
I told him that I w o u 1 d let him know about it
Near Yoakum's place lived a Mrs. Holt, a widow,
who had bought a milk cow from Yoakum, paying
him a good price for it. Yoakum laughingly re-
marked to me one day that he had stolen the cow
which he had sold to Mrs. Holt from her range
and that she didn't know the difference.
I said to myself, "You two dirty thieves" (mean-
ing Yoakum and his partner, Gregg), "if I can
catch you I certainly will do so." After that I
kept my eyes open and watched Yoakum very
closely. Whenever I managed to get off to my-
Twelve Years ix the Saddle. 21
self, I walked around the herd and took down the
brands of these three hundred cattle that had been
stolen from different parties throughout the State.
After procuring sufficient evidence to show that
they had stolen the cattle, I went to Brackenridge
and informed the sheriff of these facts, and he and
I went to the office of the justice of the peace, where
I swore out warrants for the arrest of Yoakum and
The sheriff sent his deputy, Frank Freeman,
with me to make the arrest, and we reached the
herd late in the evening. Gregg was with the
herd, grazing cattle in a mesquite flat, when we
found him, and we arrested him first. Turning
my head toward the wagon, I saw Mrs. Yoakum
standing on the wagon tongue motioning her hus-
band to run, which he did. Freeman and I im-
mediately placed Gregg in the charge of other offi-
cers who had come along, and set out in pursuit of
Yoakum. Yoakum was riding a fast saddle mule,
but was caught by Freeman and I, and we brought
him back to where the other men were.
While the deputy sheriff was reading the war-
rant to Yoakum, the latter, being angered at me,
suddenly made a play for his sixshooter to kill me,
but I was too quick* for him, and blocked his game.
Several mefr who watched -u's arrest Yoakum and
Gregg were in sympathy with them, and claimed
that 'Yoakum did not try to draw, a gun on me.
The deputy/- sheriff,, bei^g, busy* /reading the war-
rant, did" not ,:»ee Yoakum's movements, so he
could not say whether I was right or wrong in at-
tacking Yoakum. Old Man Wilson (W. R.)
seemed to be the u w6rst stuck" on Yoakum, and
22 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
I thought for quite a while that I would have
him to kill, but he eventually quieted down.
I ate no supper that night, nor breakfast the
next morning, and drank nothing but a little wa-
ter out of a creek. The following morning we
started back to Brackenridge, taking our two pris-
oners to jail. Mrs. Yoakum accompanied us to
When we reached the town, Old Man Wilson,
the great friend of Yoakum, swore out a warrant
for me, charging me with assault upon Yoakum.
They wanted to arrange it so that I couldn't be in
Brownwood to appear against Yoakum when the
trial came off, but Freeman held himself responsi-
ble for me, and in that way blocked their game.
We left the next morning for Brownwood.
Frank Freeman and I rode along together, and
while discussing various subjects to pass away the
time we accidently learned that we were distant
relatives. That probably accounts for Frank being
so nice to me and afterward showing me so many
While we were in Brackenridge, Yoakum and
Gregg employed Attorney Webb to defend them.
That night, when we reached camp, Yoakum asked
the deputy sheriff if he could talk* to me and, being-
told that he could, he took 'me off a few yards to
make me a proposition. He told me that if I
would not appear against him he would go to
Brownwood and be>t that one case and leave the
country with his stock: v
"I can not afford to do it"/' 1 said, "for such
characters as you should be in the penitentiary.' 7
He then went back to the wagon, and Freeman
Twelve Yeaks ix the Saddle. 23
called me off and asked me what Yoakum had told
me, and I repeated the proposition that Yoakum
had made to me.
" Those men who went out to help arrest
Yoakum and Gregg are undoubtedly thieves and
thugs themselves from the way they worked
against you/' said Frank, "and it might be best
for you not to go back to Brackenridge, for you
will be alone up there since no one knows you ex-
cept me, and those tough characters might kill you.
I know them too well/' he continued, "and I am
satisfied that Yoakum made a break for his gun,
but his friends will swear that he didn't, and that
will cause lots of trouble." Frank then told me
that he being responsible for me, he could manage
it for me if I wanted to get loose.
I told him that I thought it best for me to leave
and not go back to Brackenridge ; so I left that
night for my former home.
Yoakum succeeded in beating his case through
a "slick" scheme of his attorney. Webb and his
clients worked on Mrs. Holt and won her over to
their side. Yoakum bought Mrs. Holt's cow back,
and Mrs. Holt swore in court that that was not her
cow, and the indictments were quashed. I learned
afterward that Mrs. Holt went over to Brownwood
in the wagon with Mrs. Yoakum, and it nearly
made me lose confidence in the fair sex.
In accordance with his promise to me, Frank
Freeman advertised the brands of the stolen cattle,
and cattlemen came from several parts of the State
and claimed their property.
If I had been easily persuaded, as a great many
24 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
young, unfortunate boys are, to join those cattle
thieves in their theft of cattle, I would, most
likely, have been found later hanging at the end
of a rope, or serving a long sentence in the peni-
Tavelve Years in the Saddle. 25
The Hanging of Bill Longly.
On the 11th of October, 1879, I witnessed the
execution of Bill Longly, who was hung at Gid-
dings, Lee County, for the murder of Wilson An-
derson. The sheriff, Jim Brown, who had charge
of the execution, was the noted horse-racer who
was afterward killed in Chicago by a policeman.
A little while before the execution the sheriff
read the death sentence to Bill, and, pointing to
his two hundred guards, he told the people that he
had worked three months selecting his men for the
occasion, and that he thought he had about the
best there was in the country to assist him in the
execution. He then asked Bill if he wanted to
make a talk. Bill said he did, and pulled his hat
off and placed it in a chair. Then, looking calmly
over the crowd, he addressed the guards and spec-
tators as follows:
"This is a big crowd to witness the last of me. I
know I am surrounded by enemies, but I forgive
them for all that they have done against me, and
I want them, as well as my friends, to pray for me."
Then, continuing, he said, "I understand that my
brother, Jim, was in here to kill the man who cuts
the rope to hang me. If you are in this crowd,
Jim, don't kill anybody on my account. I knew
that if I was ever caught I would have to pay the
penalty which I am now paying. I hate to die,
but I have killed many a man who hated to die as
26 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
bad as I do now, so I know I am getting my just
When Bill finished his harangue he knelt be-
tween two priests. He had been confined in the
jail at Galveston for eighteen months, and while
there he had become a Catholic. Each priest put
his hand on the man's head, and they knelt to-
gether in prayer for several minutes. When he
arose he walked straight to the trap-door and,
bowing to the crowd, said:
"Good-bye to everybody."
The sheriff immediately placed the cap over his
head, the rope around his neck, and bound his
hands and feet. Then he got the hatchet and cut
the rope. The trap-door swung back, Bill fell
through, and his neck was broken.
Mrs. Anderson, the widow of the man whom
Longly had murdered, was present at the execu-
tion with her two children. When the doctors pro-
nounced Bill to be dead, she remarked that she was
Then they let him down and placed him in his
coffin. The rope was coiled and laid on his breast,
and the lid of his coffin screwed securely on. A
sorrowful father then took charge of the remains
of his former wayward son.
BilPs cousins had given him a nice suit, and he
was neatly dressed. Young and fine-looking, with
dark hair and long black mustache, and with a
complexion as fair as a lady's, he looked so hand-
some before his death that it seemed a pity for him
to die in such a terrible and unnatural manner.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 27
The Capture of Henry Carothers.
In 1879, John Presall, a Pinkerton detective,
told me that he had traced Henry Carothers to the
San Bernard River, and that he wanted me and
several others to help capture him. Carothers is
the man who killed a Mr. Kirk, a prominent man
With Willis McMaron and Albert Rosenberg, I
immediately left Burton, on my way to join Pres-
all. We traveled all Saturday night and reached
the San Bernard River at daybreak on Sunday
morning. There we met Presall, who had sum-
moned us, and Sheriff Lewis, of Austin County,
Charley Langhammer, John Collar, Bob Flack,
Fritz Rosenberg and John Rankin. We all started
out immediately in search of Henry Carothers.
Presall had learned that he was hunting on the
San Bernard River. Late that evening we learned
from two Swede boys where Car other's camp was
located. We immediately struck out for the
place, but when we reached the camp we found no
one in it, although we saw signs which indicated
that some parties had left only a little while before.
We lit on their trail and loped our horses nine
miles through a country full of nothing but post
oaks and rocks. About half a mile from the little
town of New Ulm, John Presall said that he and
Sheriff Lewis and Charley Langhammer would go
ahead, and for us six men to stay about a quarter
of a mile in the rear.
28 Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle.
A little while after the three men left us we saw,
about a quarter of a mile down the road, a wagon
with some men in it. Willis McMaron and I had
ridden about two hundred yards ahead of the other
four, much to their chagrin, and when Presall,
Lewis and Langhammer passed the wagon they
discovered that Henry Carothers and his father
and two others were in it. When they passed
them, the officers heard old man Carothers say, in
a low tone to his son, " Henry, you know what you
have always said/' The officers then looked back
and, seeing Henry Carothers and his father reach-
ing for their guns, quickly dropped off their horses.
Henry Carothers leaped out with his Winchester
and stationed himself behind the rear part of the
wagon. His father took a shotgun and jumped
over into a field to get behind a fence. When Mc-
Maron and I saw these movements, we knew that
that was Henry Carothers and his father, so we
laid steel to our horses and rode quickly to the res-
cue of the three officers in front of us.
Two of the men whom we had left behind, John
Collar and John Rankin, tore down the fence and
rode into the field where old man Carothers had
stationed himself. When the old man saw us sur-
rounding them he called out to his son to fire on
the front men.
Tom Gentry, a friend of the two Carothers, and
a yellow negro, whose name was Guish, were in
the wagon. Guish had always promised "Marse
Henry" that if the officers ever attacked them he
would certainly stay and fight until he was killed.
When Henry and his father showed fight Guish at
once left the wagon as if he had wings. He jumped
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 29
over the fence into the field, and for a mile and a
half he could not be seen for cotton flying thick
around him as he was leaving "Marse Henry."
This affair happened about six o'clock in the even-
ing, and the negro ran all the way to Burton, a dis-
tance of thirty-five miles, reaching his home at four
o'clock the next morning.
Tom Gentry crawled through the fence and went
to Mr. Carothers and plead with him not to advise
his son to fight, saying that neither one of them had
any chance for their lives. The old man paid no
attention to him, however, but called out again to
his son to fire on the front men. "You and I are
good for two men apiece," he told Henry, "and it
will never do for you to surrender."
Henry then laid his Winchester down and picked
up Gentry's shotgun, and told Gentry that he was
going to "initiate" his gun by using it first. Gen-
try then told Henry, "for God's sake do not fight
when you have no chance on earth to win."
Henry then recognized Charley Langhammer,
the officer in front who used to be sheriff of Austin
County, and who tried hard to capture him when
he first committed the terrible murder. Henry
had always "had it in" for Charley, so he invited
him to come out from behind his horse and they
would take a few shots at each other. Charley
started out, but Sheriff Lewis called him back and
told Henry that if he challenged anyone else to
fight him he would order his men to fire on him
Henry then asked Lewis how many men he had
30 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Lewis replied that he had nine and they were all
He then asked Lewis if any of the Bells were
Lewis answered that they were not.
The Bells were kin to Kirk, the murdered man,
and Henry dreaded them.
Lewis then told him that if he surrendered the
officers would protect him and that he would not
Finally, Henry turned to his father and said, "I
have a wife and two children, and you have a wife
and six children to live for and if we both get
killed in this fight they will be left without protec-
tion, so if you will keep out of this fight and let me
make it myself I will not give up, but if you don't
let me fight it out myself I will surrender."
The old man would not consent to surrender,
and said that he wanted to fight it out, whereupon
Henry laid his Winchester down, climbed into the
wagon, and standing on the seat, said:
" Gentlemen, I have surrendered."
We had a bench warrant for him from the gov-
ernor, so we handcuffed him and shackled him on
his horse, which we had procured at New Elm.
Bob Flack and John Rankin took turns about
leading the horse on which the prisoner was
mounted, but Henry cursed and abused them so,
that they tried to shove the job off on me, but I
didn't take it, as I didn't relish being abused any
more than they did. I told Henry it wouldn't
help his case a bit for him to abuse the officers, but
it seemed to afford him pleasure and consolation,
and he kept on cursing everybody around him.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 31
He told Bob Flack he would give him a thousand
dollars if he would arrange it so he could make his
Bob refused the offer , of course, and Henry asked
him how many men it would require to take him
away from the officers.
Bob told him that he could no be taken; that
they would all die before they would give him up.
Henry then informed us that if his brother-in-
law, John Williams, happened to find out that he
was captured, that he would gather a band of men
and take him from the officers and set him free.
At midnight, as we were entering a long lane, we
heard a signal at our left on the prairie, and Henry
said that that must be Williams and his men.
As soon as we heard the signal, the advance
guard saw a light further up the lane. I was then
leading Henry's horse, and Presall, the detective,
who was at my side, gave me instructions to shoot
Henry and cut his horse's rope from my saddle if
Williams' men should try to take him away from
us. Presall then said that we would all try to win
the fight if we were to have an encounter with Will-
iams and his men; so all of us prepared ourselves
for any emergency that might occur.
Turning to Henry, I said, "If this is Williams
and his bunch, it will go awful hard with you."
I think Henry heard Presall' s instructions, for
he seemed rather frightened, and, believing
strongly that it was Williams and his men up the
lane, he called out to Williams, but received no
We held up, and sent the advance guard for-
ward to see who those men were whom we had
32 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
heard. They came back in a little while and re-
ported that they were a band of cattlemen, and
that the signal which we heard to our left came
from the cowboys at the herd.
We then resumed our journey, and when we
passed these supposed u cattlemen" they lined up
on the right side of the lane and held their six-
» shooters and Winchesters ready for action. I am
satisfied that they were a bunch of thieves expect-
ing to be taken by the officers, or they would not
have been so well prepared to fight as they were.
We reached Round Top at daybreak, and placed
Henry in the calaboose and put two men to guard-
ing him. Then we slept until breakfast at John
When we put Henry in the calaboose we
shackled him securely, as we knew he would make
his escape if he had half a chance, for he was in a
desperate mood and was a shrewd and daring man.
The shackles, which we put on him, were fastened
underneath the floor to a sleeper and were not
movable. He filled the keyholes of his shackles
with small shot, in order to give us all the trouble
he possibly could, and when we transferred him,
we were detained a long time getting the shot out
of the keyholes.
We took him to La Grange. He was tried later
on at Bastrop and given, a sentence of life impris-
onment in the penitentiary, but was pardoned out
by the governor after he had served six years of his
term. I met him after he was given his freedom,
and he was very friendly with me, and, as he was
making a splendid citizen, I welcomed his friend-
ship, and told him I was glad to see him a free man
and doing well.
' '""'"■ " .-.....■
The most noted Outlaw of the Territory.
Hung at Ft. Smith, Ark.
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 33
An Exciting Fisticuff
Col. R. D. Hunter wrote to Capt. S. A. McMur-
ray of our company, asking him to let me have a
leave of absence to go to Thurber to attend to some
anarchists and dynamiters, who were giving the
officials a lot of trouble at the mine. He said, in
his letter to Capt. McMurray, that he would give
me a hundred dollars a month to act as an officer
for the company and rid the mine of these char-
The captain showed me the letter and asked me
if I thought I could do the work. I told him that
I was perfectly confident that I could. He then
asked me if I wanted to go and try it, and I told
him that that hundred dollars looked mighty good
to me. He gave me permission to go, and I left
on the next train for Thurber, and reached there
as quickly as possible and made a contract with
Hunter to do the work which he had mapped out
for me. I remained in the employ of the coal com-
pany eight months.
One night, about twelve o'clock, I located thir-
teen anarchists in one bunch, hidden in a little
dark corner, planning to dynamite the mine the
following night. I had two men with me, and we
crawled up close enough to hear every word that
these anarchists said. When they had perfected
their plans and stopped their discussion, we ar-
rested the whole bunch and jailed them.
A saloon was run at the mines by Tom Lawson,
34 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
who had a ten-year lease on the building. Lawson
also owned a fourth interest in the mine, but he and
Col. Hunter, the president, had a falling out for
some cause, and Lawson got to standing in with
the tough element.
One night I heard a pistol shot in the saloon and
ran in there to investigate, believing that some-
body had been killed. When I reached the in-
side, I learned that Lawson, who was behind the
bar drunk, had shot at a miner, but failed to hit
him. This was on pay night and everybody was
full of beer and whiskey, and I had already filled
the calaboose with drunken men.
I decided to arrest Lawson and put him in with
the other men, but when I advanced on him he
made a play for his sixshooter, but I fell squarely
on top of him with my gun, removing enough skin
from his head to half-sole a number 10 shoe. He
swore that he would not be locked up, but I put
him in the calaboose, all the same, and he was
made to pay his fine as any other man.
After paying his fine, Lawson left immediately
to report me to Capt. McMurray. Col. Hunter
saw Lawson in Fort Worth looking for McMurray
and wired me about it, saying that he (Hunter)
would stand between me and all danger.
About two weeks after that Capt. McMurray
came to Thurber and told me that he understood
that I had knocked Lawson in the head, and that
he wanted to know the cause of it.
I told him that Lawson was disturbing the peace
and that he had shot at a miner, and when I tried
to arrest him he attempted to draw a gun on me,
and that I hit him with my sixshooter instead of
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 35
shooting him with it. "I disarmed him and put
him in jail," I continued, and my captain replied
that I ought to have broken his neck.
About two months after that, Lawson and his
bartender, Malcom, and Col. Hunter, all three met
in a drug store. Hunter and Lawson began curs-
ing each other, and I heard the row and rushed
into the store just in time to see Hunter burst the
bottom of a spittoon out over Tom Lawson' s head.
Hunter then threw a box of cigars at him, striking
Lawson in the ear and scattering cigars all over the
floor. I noticed Malcom slipping up behind Col.
Hunter, preparing to hit him in the back of the
head. Just as he started to strike Hunter, how-
ever, I struck Malcom myself, in time to stop what
would have been a dreadful blow. Malcom whirled
around and saw that it was I who hit him. I
struck him five times in the face, but he did noth-
ing but back off the gallery. I struck him once
again when he reached the outside and kicked him
off the gallery. I thought I had him whipped, but
when he got up he said he would fight me if I would
pull my sixshooter off. He was a stout man and
weighed about 230 pounds, but I was not afraid of
him. I removed my sixshooter and threw it over
to Henry Kronk, the druggist, and told him to
look out for it. I then pitched into Malcom again,
striking him in the face. He suddenly threw his
big arm around my neck and pressed my head
aganist his body. I could not get my head free
without breaking my neck, and, having the ad-
vantage of me in that respect, he commenced
beating my head, nose and eyes until my face
looked like jelly. I do not know what would have
36 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
become of my face if Bob Ward, the company's
lawyer, had not come to my rescue. Ward knocked
Malcom loose from me and knocked him twelve
feet from where we were clinched. Tom Lawson
then knocked Ward down, he falling on top of Mal-
com. Hunter was pacing around after Lawson
with a heavy rock, but never did get in his lick.
When a carpenter, who was working near by,
saw the dangerous position that I was in when
Malcom had me clinched, he ran to my rescue with
a hatchet in his hand. He was frightened and as
pale as death, and he intended to cut Malcom loose
with his hatchet, but Ward got in ahead of him and
did the work for him.
My face was in a terrible fix, and the doctor put
a beef steak on it to draw the blood out of the
bruised places. My face was so badly bruised and
swollen that one could hardly tell where my eyes
and nose were. I had a girl then, whom I was
loving very dearly, and I could not go to see her
for a long time, on account of the sad condition of
my complexion. I shunned her everywhere for
quite a while; for I well knew that it would never
do to let "Betty" see me in that fix.
I went to the justice of peace the next morning
after the fight and paid my fine, which amounted
to twelve dollars. The money was paid back to
me by Col. Hunter. Hunter, Ward, Malcom and
Lawson all fought their cases hard, but it cost
them about two hundred dollars apiece before they
were through, while the fight only cost me twelve
dollars, and the money was refunded to me.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 37
Waterspout at Quanah
On the fourth day of June, 1891, one of the hard-
est rains that I ever experienced began falling in
Quanah at noon, and lasted all the afternoon and
throughout that night. I knew that the rain was
going to do lots of damage if it kept up, so I re-
solved to go down to the railroad bridge before the
north-bound passenger train arrived to see if the
dam was in good condition.
I held my watch in my hand, and when it was
nearly time for the train to arrive I walked down
to the bridge, where the passenger was to cross. I
stood near the railroad tank until the train came
in, but it was raining so hard that I could not see
the smoke from the engine as the train came down
The passenger arrived on time, and stopped on
the east side of the tank to take water, while I was
on the west side examining the dam. I soon saw
that the dam was giving away, so I waded into the
tank and attracted the attention of the engineer.
He could not hear what I was saying, so he left his
engine and waded in the tank close enough to me
to understand what I had to say. I told him that
the dam was breaking, but he did not see any signs
of it from where he was, and, thinking that I was
unduly excited, he decided that I was mistaken,
and, going back to his engine, he reversed the
throttle and prepared to cross the bridge. About
that time the dam broke and was swiftly washed
38 Twelve Years ix the -Saddle.
away to the other side. The engineer stopped his
engine just in time to save the train from going
across the dam and being thrown overboard.
Nearly four hundred passengers, including many
women and children, were on the train, and they
seemed to be very grateful to me for the part that
I played in saving their lives. The train crew
were also thankful that they did not get any fur-
ther than they did before the accident occurred.
When the dam broke, the railroad bridges, the
county bridge, two or three houses, and a number
of windmills were all washed away. Several other
rivers in that part of the state got on a rampage,
and quite a number of county and railroad bridges,
besides those around Quanah, were destroyed.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 39
Five People Beg for Food
While doing duty as a policeman in the State
Capitol building in Austin, in 1903, I boarded at
the Capitol Hotel.
One cold, rainy day I left the table, after eating
my dinner, and discovered two ladies and three
children standing at the screen door on the outside.
I asked them what they wanted, and they said
they had sent a little boy in there with a note ask-
ing for money enough to get dinner for all five of
them. They said they were " awful hungry."
The little boy came out in a minute, and said he
had seen all those men in the dining room, but they
would not give him a cent. The little fellow, who
was about four years of age, had tears in his eyes
and looked as if he was sentenced to his death. A
baby boy had gone into the dining room, filled with
men drawing their five dollars a day, and hadn't
procured enough money to feed himself.
His mother and the elder lady, who was about
sixty-five years of age, said, "I guess w T e ? ll have to
go, but we are awful hungry."
I told them to sit down in the sitting room ; that
I was going to see that they got something to eat.
I saw the proprietor and got him to prepare a table
for the five people. I then carried the poor people
into the dining room and seated them around the
I went to the waiters and told them to give those
people something of everything they had and
±0 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
plenty of it. The waiters carefully and courte-
ously attended to their wants, and the ladies and
the children ate to their hearts' content. I never
felt happier in my life than I did when I watched
them enjoy that meal. When they got through
eating, they asked me if it would be any harm for
them to carry the scraps away for their supper.
I told them that it was no harm at all, and I
went to work at once and rustled up the biggest
paper sack in the house for them, and told them to
take everything they could find, which they did.
After dinner they went into the sitting room and
sat around the stove to warm themselves and rest,
as they were quite weary. They thanked me over
and over for what I had done for them, and the old
lady asked God to bless me for what she called
a my act of kindness," and asked Him to bless all
my efforts in life.
The boys were too small to know what all this
meant, and they sat on the floor, their hunger ap-
peased, and laughed and played. This was a sad
sight to me, and when the women began crying I
could not keep the tears from my own eyes.
These unfortunate people were from the country,
and boll weevils and other things had destroyed
their crops for two years and left them destitute.
They were in such a pitiful plight that I was thank-
ful that I was able to aid them, and that $1.25 that
I gave for their dinner did me more good and fur-
nished me more happiness than any other sum of
money I ever spent.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 41
The Murder of Hartman
I was ordered by the governor in 1890 to go to
San Saba, as District Court was to convene there
and the presence of Texas rangers in that town
was greatly needed; for the people of that district
were divided into two opposing factions, and the
bitterness that existed between them had become
Since 1880 San Saba had been the center of a dis-
turbance, caused by the organization of a "mob,"
whose operations extended into several other
counties in that district.
In other words, a number of people had banded
together to protect themselves against the depre-
dations of cattle thieves and other criminals, who
were numerous in that part of the state. A num-
ber of people lived in that district who had no re-
gard for law and order, and stole so many cattle,
horses and hogs that the people became aroused,
and decided to take the law into their own hands
and punish the guilty parties as they saw fit, and
for this reason the club, afterward referred to as
"the mob," was organized.
The lawless element, of course, arrayed them-
selves against the mob faction. Many good people
also lined up against it, as they did no believe in
mob spirit and thought the law should be allowed
to take its course. Thus a strong organization,
called the " anti-mob," grew into activity and bit-
terly opposed the other faction.
42 Twelve Yeaes ix tile Saddle.
The mob faction, however, was the stronger of
the two sides in numbers and influence, and in San
Saba County, their greatest stronghold, they
elected one of their men sheriff.
The mob did some good work for a while, but,
like all organizations of that character, it finally
went too far, and became more oppressive as it
grew in power. Quite a number of bad citizens
were "slick" enough to slip over to the stronger
faction — the mob element— and, as they did so,
they played a big part in changing the purpose and
power of that organization from good to bad.
When the mob was first organized it began to put
down lawlessness, but in 1890, ten years later, the
bitter feeling that existed between the mob and
anti-mob factions had reached such a high pitch
that there was much fighting and disorder. Law-
lessness was encouraged by both sides and could
not be prevented by local authorities. Killings
became rather frequent occurrences, and thieves
took advantage of the numerous opportunities and
stole live stock without fear of prosecution.
Thus the criminal docket was full of important
cases, but the prosecuting attorney could not go
about his work unless he was given protection by
the State ; so the governor sent me, as I have stated
before, to San Saba to help them hold court.
Red Murphy and Tom Piatt, also rangers, were
with me, and we arrived at San Saba on the follow-
ing Sunday about noon. After eating dinner at
the hotel, we walked up the street and found the
town full of men, as court was to convene the next
The men were sitting or standing around in
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 43
groups of twelve or fifteen, and were discussing
with some fervor the convening of court. They
had come to town to see that things were run to
suit them when court opened, and they meant
"business," for the stores were full of their guns
and ammunition which they had brought with
While passing one group, we heard a man in-
quire who we were, and another man replied that
we were Texas rangers; whereupon they all
laughed, some of them remarking that if we ever
got three miles out of town we would never live to
get back. We heard the remark, but paid no at-
tention to it.
On the following Tuesday night some one came
to the hotel where we were staying and asked the
proprietor, Jim Darfmyer, if the Texas rangers
were not staying with him. Darfmyer told them
that we were, and the visitor asked him to call us,
which he did.
When we got downstairs we met Nat Hartman,
whose home was on the Colorado River. He
seemed very anxious about something and in-
formed us that his brother, Edd Hartman, was
missing, and that he feared he had been killed.
The Hartmans were members of the anti-mob fac-
tion, and Nat Hartman told us that this was the
first time in nine years that his brother had been
outside of his house after sundown.
We told him that we would go by and get Sheriff
Howard and commence looking for his brother.
Nat objected to us getting Howard. We told him
that we would have to have the sheriff with us, so
44 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
we went by and called for Howard, who joined us
in the search.
We reached the home of Nat Hartman's father
a little before day, and just before sunrise we left
Hartman's house and started down the river, the
way they claimed Edd went off the day before at
one o'clock. We walked about three-quarters of
a mile, and found the dead body of the man for
whom we were searching, lying in the bed of the
We traced two men's tracks from the body to a
house, sixty steps away, where a Mr. Campbell,
one of Howard's deputy sheriffs, lived.
Campbell was out in the yard when he saw us
coming, but he started in a fast walk to the house
when he discovered us. We stopped him before
he got very far, but he said something to his wife,
who was standing in the doorway, and she whirled
back into the building, returning in a second or two
with something in her hand, which she held under
We were satisfied that she had his sixshooter,
and we ordered her not to go near her husband.
She then went back into the house. We arrested
Campbell and his two sons, Meek and Dave, and
five other men in his neighborhood. We reached
San Saba with them a little after dark that even-
ing, and locked them up in a little house that Darf-
myer let us have for that night. We did not let
them sleep together and kept them from talking
with each other, so they would not "make medi-
About an hour or two before day, Campbell
asked me to let him get up and sit by the stove.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 45
I told him that would be alright, and he came over
and began talking to me. He ran his hand over
his face and said his face was paining him. He
also claimed that his mule pitched him off a day
or two before that, and threw him into a rough
place, bruising his face up badly. He said he
couldn't understand what was the matter with
his mule; that he used to be a good mule, but had
acted mighty strangely of late. He then claimed
that the mule had also thrown one of his boys re-
cently and bruised his face up considerably.
The next morning we had all eight of the men
up before the grand jury. Campbell testified be-
fore the grand jury that a little grey mare had
fallen down with him in a rough place and bruised
his face. Another man before the grand jury tes-
tified that a dun mare had fallen down with Camp-
bell twelve miles further up the river. They made
such conflicting statements in trying to get out of
trouble that the grand jury indicted Dave Camp-
bell and his father for the murder of Edd Hart-
Dave Campbell jumped his bond and was caught
seven years later in Arizona, where he was living
under the name of "Alex Miller/' and was brought
back to San Saba, but he was acquitted.
Old man Campbell got a change of venue to
Fort Mason, and was convicted and sentenced to
seven and a half years in the penitentiary, but ap-
pealed his case. He was tried sixteen times in
eight years, and finally got off on a light sentence
of two and a half years, and went to the peniten-
tiary from Lampasas to serve it out. I had to go
46 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
to court twice a year for eight years to testify in
Mr. Hartman, the father of the murdered man,
is now dead, but he lived to fight the case for eight
long years, and finally heard the sentence read to
Campbell. In fighting the case he spent every
dollar he had, and sold his farm and home and
stock, in order to keep up the prosecution, and
when he died at the age of seventy-seven years he
was renting land. He had remained faithful to
his son to the last.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 47
The Chase After Del Dean, When I Break
my Arm and Ankle
While court was in session at San Saba, Del
Dean, an alleged horsethief, was notified that he
had been indicted by the grand jury for stealing
live stock. Dean at once mounted his horse and
left town. Sheriff Hawkins asked me to capture
Dean, saying that Dean had just left town, going
out on the Llano road.
I mounted my horse and started out in pursuit.
Riding fast, I soon came in sight of Dean, who was
urging his horse to the utmost speed. I clamped
spurs to my horse and commenced to gain still
more on Dean, and for some time we kept up a hot
It was misting snow and the weather was raw
and cold. I was going down hill as fast as my
horse could run, when he suddenly struck a flat
table rock and let his feet slip from under him. He
fell, and I was thrown twenty-three feet from the
saddle. My horse was running so fast when he fell
that it was remarkable that I was not killed. When
my horse and I took that sudden stop, I fell into a
pile of rocks, and my head was badly bruised, my
face terribly lacerated, my right arm broken, and
my ankle sprained.
Dean, of course, made his escape, and I do not
think that he saw my horse fall with me. I was
badly crippled up, and was treated by Doctors
George and John Sanderson (brothers) for forty-
48 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
six days. It was two years before I had any
strength in my right hand and arm. I learned to
shoot left-handed, and when my right arm got
strong again, I could shoot as well with one hand
as I could the other.
Dean was captured by Edgar T. Neal after the
latter became sheriff of San Saba County. When
I went back to San Saba I went to the jail and saw
Dean. All the prisoners shook hands with me ex-
cept Dean. He had turned out his beard and I
could not place him; so I asked him his name.
He said, "I am Del Dean, the man whom you
were pursuing when you broke your arm, and for
that reason I thought probably you would not
want to speak to me/'
I assured him that he was mistaken; that I had
no ill feeling toward him at all. I told him that
while it was my duty to pursue him, it was natural
for him to try to escape, and that I did not blame
him with the accident. I told him that I felt sorry
for him because he was in jail and hoped he
would lead a better life when he got free again.
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 49
The Capture and Escape of Morris, the
In 1891 there lived in the little town of Vernon,
one Jim Morris, and the two Moss brothers, who
left together, during that year, for Greer County,
where the three men were to take up land. The
two Moss brothers had between them about five
or six hundred dollars, which fact was known to
Morris when the three left Vernon together. After
reaching Salt Fork, which is in Greer County, they
pitched camp to rest up a bit. While there, Morris
and one of the Moss boys walked out a mile or so
from the wagon to kill some game. After being
gone a little while, Morris suddenly turned his gun
on Moss and fired, killing him instantly. After
burying the dead body in a sandhill, he went back
to camp and told the other Moss boy that his
brother had sent back for him and the wagon, as
he had found a much better place to camp, and for
him to hitch up and bring everything to the new
stopping place. There happened to be two cow-
punchers at the camp at this time who heard the
conversation. Moss was sick, and when the two
left, as Moss supposed, for the new camping place,
he lay down in the bottom of the wagon, with his
head near Morris, who was driving.
Ignorant of the terrible fate that had just over-
taken his brother a little while before, Moss unsus-
pectingly put his hat over his face so he could rest
easier, with the sun's rays thus kept from his eyes.
50 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Morris took advantage of this opportunity, and
shot and killed the sick man, the bullet passing
through his hat and blowing his brains out. He
then threw the body out of the wagon and buried
it in a nearby sandhill, exactly as he had disposed
of the remains of the other man. Besides getting
all of their money, he kept one of their watches,
and also the coat which he took from his first vic-
tim. This coat had a bullet hole through the back,
indicating the manner in which the man had been
slain. Among other things found in the coat was
a note which Moss had written to a young lady
asking her for her company to church. The lady
had accepted his invitation, according to this note,
which had slipped into the lining through a worn-
out pocket. When this murder occurred I was
stationed in Quanah.
At that time there was no jail at Mangum, where
we caught Morris, so we placed the prisoner in the
calaboose, but as there was strong talk of lynch-
ing him, the officers removed him to Quanah,
where he was safely landed in the county jail. He
was kept there about two years, and was closely
guarded a greater part of that time by some of the
rangers. He was tried on two indictments for
murder and was sentenced to hang in both cases.
He appealed his case, however, and got a new
trial, but the jury again brought in a verdict of
death. He became very desperate, and was a
hard man to keep imprisoned. One night during
his trial, while being guarded by Bob Dawson, a
constable of that county, he picked his shackles
with a writing pen and broke away. In escaping
he jumped from a two-story window, and was at
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 51
large three days and nights before he was recap-
tured and placed in jail. Morris kept us mighty
busy before he was found, and, when we did get
him, we took him in a few days to Fort Worth for
safe keeping, until the day of his execution; but
he succeeded in breaking away from that place,
also, and never has been captured nor located
since. At the time of his escape Morris was twen-
ty-seven years of age, tall, broad-shouldered, and
One morning at sunrise, while in the brakes
searching for Morris, we looked up the draw which
led into Pease River and saw a fire. Thinking we
would find our game, we at once surrounded the
place where we saw the fire and smoke, but found
instead an escaped convict. With him was a
woman dressed in man's clothes. Her hair was
cropped short, and on her heels she wore a pair of
Petmaker spurs. She also wore a California suit
of clothes, a Stetson hat, a shop-made pair of boots,
and a blue shirt and necktie. She was a Mistress
Jennie Bates, and was stolen away from her
home in Palo Pinto County by this convict. We
took from her a .45 Colt's sixshooter, a Winchester
and a scabbard belt full of cartridges.
The woman, who weighed nearly a hundred and
thirty-five pounds, looked to be about twenty-five
years of age and a little over five feet tall. With
black hair and dark eyes, she appeared to be a good
looking man. The couple had stolen four head of
horses, so we put them in jail at Quanah. The
convict had escaped from the penitentiary after
serving five years of a ten-year sentence for horse
stealing. He was tried in Quanah for his latest
52 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
thefts, and sent back to the penitentiary to finish
serving his first sentence, with an addition of five
years for his last crime. The woman got a change
of venue from Quanah to Vernon and came clear.
The ladies of Vernon felt sorry for her and dressed
her up in woman's clothing. Mrs. Wheeler was
the only white woman I ever arrested. Mr. J. M.
Brit ton, a ranger, aided in making the capture.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 53
The Arrest of Hollingsworth
I received a warrant from Austin, in 1891, to ar-
rest O. N. Hollingsworth. He was then living
eighteen miles west of Quanah, and seven miles
south of Kirkland. Pick Gipson, the sheriff, and
Lon Lewis went with me after Mr. Hollingsworth.
Hollingsworth knew Lon Lewis and Sheriff Gipson,
but he had never seen me; so, when we got within
a half mile of Mr. Hollingsworth 7 s house, they pro-
posed that I go down to the house and see if he
was there, saying that if he was they would come
on in a short time, and for me to remain until they
arrived there. They told me not to try to arrest
him, for they were pretty well satisfied, since the
old man's case was a bad one, that he would more
than likely make a fight. When I rode up to the
gate, I called out to the people, it being after dark,
and a young man, who looked to be about seven-
teen years old, came out.
I asked him if he had seen a man pass there rid-
ing a grey horse and leading a black, or riding a
black and leading a grey. I told him that this
man was about six feet two and one-half inches
tall, and had red curly hair and a heavy red mus-
tache. I said that I wanted this man in Baylor
County for the theft of these two horses. He said
that he had not seen the man nor the horses. He
asked me then to get down and spend the night
with them. I told him that as my horse and I
were very badly jaded I would like to stay there
54 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
that night. I asked him if I would be imposing
on the family, and inquired if his father and mo-
ther were at home. He said that they were in the
house, and I told him that I would stay.
I led my horse up through the gate, and he re-
marked "Let's go and put your horse up."
I told him that I would have to have a drink of
water before I put my horse up ; that I was nearly
dying with thirst. The water barrel was sitting
right in front of the door, and I could see it in the
light. He insisted very much on me putting my
horse up before I got the water, but I could see the
old man standing in the door, and I was satisfied
that he would step out in the dark and I would
fail to see him that night, as the lot was on the
other side, in the rear. I went on up to the front
door and spoke to the old gentleman and took a
drink of water.
Then I asked the old gentleman if his name was
He said it was.
I said, "I have papers for you, Mr. Hollings-
" Where are they from?" he asked.
"Well, alright," he said.
I turned my horse over to the young man and
told him to hitch him. Then I stepped into the
building, and the old gentleman and I sat down.
Mrs. Hollingsworth was reading a book and never
looked up nor spoke to me for twenty minutes,
and, when she did, she asked if I had been to sup-
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 55
I told her that I had eaten some cheese and
crackers that I had with me.
She said, a You had better let me go and fix
something for you; I have plenty cooked." I in-
sisted that she not put herself to any trouble, but
she went, anyway, and fixed the table. I am sat-
isfied that Mrs. Hollingsworth thought that I
would leave her husband in the house while I went
to eat. That would have given the old gentleman
a chance to make his escape; so, when I started
out, I told him to go out ahead of me. This little
eating house was about twenty steps from the
main building that we were in. I ate supper, and
we went back to the dwelling and seated ourselves.
The old gentleman commenced crying and
started to the bureau, where there was a double-
barrel shotgun and a Winchester, one on each side.
He was half way to the bureau, when the thought
struck me that he might make a bad play with
those guns, being stirred up as he was and crying;
so I halted him, and told him to come back and
take his seat. He told me that he only wanted to
get the hair brush and brush his hair and beard,
but I told him that he could do that in the morn-
About that time Gipson and Lewis came up, and
I was very glad to see them. I had been looking
for them for some time; for they told me that if I
did not return they would come to me in a half
hour, as they would know that he was at home;
but it was all of an hour and a half before they
came to me. They put their horses up, and Mrs.
Hollingsworth began to fix beds for all of us. This
building had only one room. It was cut back in
56 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
a hill and planked up on each side and in front,
making a comfortable house. Mrs. Hollingsworth
made us a pallet in the front part of the building.
She and her husband slept in the back, and there
was a curtain in the center of the house that cut
them off from the others. She told me that I
could lie down and rest easy; that she would be
responsible for her husband ; that there was no way
for him to escape. I noticed two windows in the
back part of the building; so I told Mrs. Hollings-
worth that I made it a point to guard all prisoners,
and for her and her family to fix and lie down, and
I would pull the curtains back so we could guard
the old gentleman.
It was seven miles from there to Kirkland, and
eighteen miles from Kirkland to Quanah ; so we ate
breakfast the next morning and got off in time to
meet the south-bound train at Kirkland. Mr. Hol-
lingsworth' s boy took him in the buggy to Kirk-
land. When we reached Kirkland, Pick Gipson,
the sheriff, took him to Quanah on the train, and
Lon Lewis and I rode through horseback.
When Mr. Hollingsworth separated from his wife
and two or three little girls, it was such a sad scene
to witness, that I never will forget it. His wife
clung to his neck, and those sweet little girls held
to his arms and legs. I thought I never would get
away from the sound of his wife's and children's
screams. This was, indeed, a sad morning to me,
and the family had my deepest sympathy.
When we reached Quanah, I learned at our
camp that Pick Gipson had turned Mr. Hollings-
worth over to the rangers, and he remained at our
camp three days and nights before we sent him to
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 57
Austin. While at camp, eating our grub, I asked
the old gentleman one day if he would like to have
a hotel dinner. He said he would, so I took him
to the Quanah Hotel and gave him a good dinner.
He asked me to walk up stairs with him, and he
showed me some pictures of Jersey cows and calves,
which were hanging on the wall. They were beau-
tiful, and he told me that his grown daughters had
drawn them. He cried, and said, " Sullivan, I am
no thief. My children overdrew on me. They
were 'high livers' and they got me behind with the
State. That is the reason you have me arrested."
Hollingsworth was then about sixty-five years old,
very straight and erect, and fine looking, and was
highly educated. I am satisfied that he was no
thief, but his children were expensive in their way
of living, and caused him to fall behind and make
this great mistake with the State. When he got
into this trouble he was holding an office in Austin.
Before that he taught school and bore a good name.
He gave bond in Austin, but jumped it and made
his escape. His wife sold her home, and his two
daughters sold theirs — a section of land apiece —
and paid the bond off. I have never heard of Hol-
58 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
The Capture of Mayes, The Noted
While stationed at Quanah, Texas, I was noti-
fied one evening by Col. Rush that Dock James,
alias Dock Mayes, a noted horse thief, was camp-
ing near Quanah, and that he was stealing cattle
and horses throughout that part of the country.
Col. Rush had just arrived in Quanah on the
train from Colorado City. He told me that he
had two herds of cattle, near Quanah, that had
been driven in from Colorado City by his hands.
As Mayes was wanted in seven counties, I
thought I had better make good work of him; so
I took Frank Hofer, a ranger, and Bob Collier, a
deputy sheriff, and started after this cattle thief.
I at once went north with them to Groesbeck
River, about five miles out of town, where I found
a herd of cattle. I asked the man who had charge
of the cattle if that herd belonged to Col. Rush.
He replied that they did not; that Rush's herd was
south of the Fort Worth & Denver road ; so I bade
him good-bye and started south.
When I got to the railroad I met two ladies in a
buggy going west, up the track. I looked around,
and about five miles south of the track I saw the
herd, but I was satisfied that these ladies were go-
ing up the track to another herd, and, thinking
that the cattle west of us were Rush's, I plead with
Bob Collier to go with me, and we would follow the
ladies. I was afraid that the ladies would inform
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 59
Mayes that the officers were around, and told Bob
that that was why I wanted to go up the track
then, but Bob was hard-headed and would not go
with us; so we turned and ran our horses to the
herd that was directly south of us, and made the
five miles in a little while.
When I reached the herd I saw a man sitting on
a big black horse. I asked him if this was Col.
Rush's herd, and he said, u No; Rush's herd is at
Quanah at the railroad tank watering."
I knew that was a lie, for I had not been away
from Quanah more than three-quarters of an hour,
as I had been riding fast all the time.
I rode around the herd and asked one of the
hands, a Mexican, if he could tell me where either
one of Col. Rush's herds was. In reply, he pointed
west, the direction in which the two ladies were go-
ing, and said, " Yonder is the herd on that high di-
vide about five miles from here." Then I was
somewhat vexed, when I remembered that Bob
would not consent to us following the buggy a
little while before.
Although our horses were hot and tired, I told
Bob and Frank to put theirs beside mine and we
would run them over to the other herd. I told
Bob that since he had acted such a fool, and caused
this trouble, I would make him kill that horse of
his; so we laid the steel to our horses and pulled for
that other five-mile heat.
We had arrived within three-quarters of a mile
from Mayes' camp and the herders had failed to
see us, as we were in a flat covered with mesquite
timber, and they were at the top of a hill, right on
60 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
The two ladies, whom we had seen going up
the track, had reported to them that we were com-
ing. A man, calling himself Jackson, was sent at
once to the wagon at their camp to inform Mayes
that we were coming, but he did not get to deliver
his message. As we were nearing the divide, Jack-
son ran his horse into us at full speed. I stopped
him and asked him where he was going. He re-
plied that he was going to camp to change horses.
I told him that his horse didn't seem to be very
tired from the way he was moving out. I then put
him under arrest and told him to tell me the truth.
"I want a fellow," I said, "by the name of Dock
James, alias Dock Mayes, and don't you tell me
anything but the truth. Is he with the herd, or
is he at camp?"
He replied that he was at the camp.
I asked him how far it was to the camp.
He said it was about a mile and a half.
I then told him to put his horse beside mine and
take me the nearest way to camp.
When I got within eight hundred yards of their
camp, I saw the same man whom I had met sitting
on the black horse at the other herd, five miles
away. He was the one who had told me such a
story about Bush's cattle being in Quanah, water-
ing at the railroad tank. He, also, had a message
to deliver to Mayes about us, and had run his horse
fast enough to beat us a minute or two, but too late
to give Mayes sufficient time to get away. We saw
him rush up to the wagon and tell Mayes that we
were coming. Mayes sprang up and, in a stooping
position, went in a trot to his saddle, about thirty
yards away, and pulled his Winchester out of the
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 61
scabbard. The man on the black horse immedi-
ately put spurs to his steed and left for his herd.
When I saw Mayes making for his Winchester I
thought I could rush in and get him before he
reached it. I had no more use for Jackson, so I
told Bob and Frank, both, to follow me and let
him go. I then spurred my horse up and went
straight for Mayes, with Bob following me. Bob,
however, had told Frank to stay behind and guard
Jackson, which was not my wish, and Frank did
what Bob had requested him to do.
Bob stayed with me about three hundred yards,
and then dropped behind, and when I had gotten
within two hundred yards of Mayes, I heard him
(Bob) yelling at me to hold up. I had gone too
far by this time to turn back; so I paid no atten-
tion to Bob, but kept jerking "cat hair" out of my
When I had gotten within sixty yards of the
wagon, Mayes yelled to me that he would kill me
if I crowded him any more. About that time my
horse became frightened at some blankets hang-
ing out on a mesquite bush, and commenced jump-
ing a thousand ways a second; but I kept pulling
for the wagon. Mayes had gotten behind the
wagon, and was at this time sitting by the wheels
with his Winchester at his shoulder. When I saw
him and remembered his reputation as a fine shot
and a dangerous man, I said to myself, "I am a
dead man." I jumped my horse over the wagon
tongue, which placed me within six feet of Mayes.
I sat my horse down, and pointed my gun at Mayes
and told him to surrender. He said he would. I
ordered him to throw his Winchester on the ground,
62 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
which he did. I searched him for his sixshooter,
and picked his Winchester up. About that time.
Bob Collier, the deputy sheriff, came up.
Mayes asked me why I crowded him as I did.
"If I had had my Winchester loaded/' he said,
"you would have been in hell right now. This is
the first time in fourteen years that the magazine
of my rifle has ever been empty."
I asked him how it came to be empty then.
He replied that one of the boys had gone out to
shoot rabbits a little while before that, and emp-
tied the magazine and had forgotten to reload it.
Then I asked him if his name was Mayes, and he
replied that it was.
I asked him if "James" would not suit him bet-
ter; but he only smiled.
I then asked him if he had a horse.
He replied that he had a little old sore-back cow
About that time Frank Hofer came up, bringing
Jackson with him. I scolded Frank a little bit
about staying with Jackson instead of coming with
me as I had requested him to.
I told Jackson to go with Frank and get Mayes'
horse, which he did, returning in a few minutes.
I found that Mayes had lied. His "little sore-back
cow pony" was a thoroughbred racehorse, and as
pretty as a peach.
I handcuffed Mayes and took his bridle reins.
Then I tied a rope around his animal's neck and
wrapped the other end around the horn of my sad-
dle, and let Mayes mount his horse. After we
started off Mayes asked me to let him have the
reins, as his horse traveled so badly when he did
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 63
not have reins in his hands. I had a suspicion
that he intended to attempt to make his escape,
so I did not grant his request.
I put him in the county jail at Quanah. He
was wanted at Weatherford for horse theft. He
was sentenced to the penitentiary for nine years;
was tried again in Colorado City, and sentenced
for an additional nine years. He was wanted in
five more counties, but did not answer for the other
charges. After serving six years of his term of nine
years, he was pardoned out of the penitentiary by
6l Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Exciting Experiences While Pursuing Bill
I went, in 1891, while stationed at Quanah, to
institute a search for Bill James, who had foully
murdered his brother, John, at Bill's home.
James was supposed to be hiding in the Co-
manche Strip; so I took George Black, Frank
Hofer and Billy McCauley and went to Greer
County, where we pitched camp on the North
Fork of Red River, about three miles from Nava-
joe. We rode every day for five months, and
scouted the country all around there. Though our
main object was to capture James, we arrested a
number of criminals and put a stop to some of the
lawlessness that occurred on the border.
We had a number of amusing, as well as excit-
ing, experiences while trying to capture James. I
told James' brother-in-law one day that I thought
James was in Quanah Parker's camp, or in ^hat
part of the strip. At that time Quanah Parker's
camp was near Fort Sill. The brother-in-law told
me that I would be apt to find him there, and I an-
nounced that I was going to take all the rangers
and go to that part of the strip to look for Bill.
I planned and talked about the trip for several
days, to make everybody think that I was really
going to Fort Sill after James. My real intention,
however, was to allow James' brother-in-law and
other friends plenty of time to get word to him
that the officers were to be out of the way on a cer-
SERGEANT W. J. L. SULLIVAN IN 1896
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 65
tain date, and he could come home and see his
two-weeks' old babe, which I thought he would do.
Then I was to go out a few miles and drop back
suddenly at the right moment and capture James.
An old man, who lived in the community,
wanted to go along with us to help about camp, '
and play the fiddle for us and hunt game. He
was a privileged character in the community, and
very amusing as well as useful; so I told him he
could go with us. He was elated over the thought
of going with us and said he would play his fiddle
at night, and in the day time he would kill all the
birds on Bitter Creek for us to eat.
When the day came for us to leave a number of
men came to see us off. We packed our bedding
and provisions in the wagon, and the old man got
on with his shotgun and fiddle, and we started off
in grand style.
We traveled slowly and lost as much time as we
could, in order to be as close to his home as was
possible under the circumstances when night came
At six o'clock in the evening I told the driver to
pull out to the left of the road. It was eight miles
from any water, and I remarked that we would
have "dry camp."
The fiddler and bird man asked me what I meant
by u dry camp."
I told him that we were to do without water.
He said that he had been thirsty an hour or two
and had been wishing that I would stop and pitch
camp, so he could get a drink of water.
I told the old man that we rangers didn't drink
66 Twelve Yeaks in the Saddle.
but once a day, and that the mules and horses
were trained the same way.
He said if he had known all this at first he
wouldn't have come along.
We told him that we were a little thirsty our-
selves, but if he would play the fiddle for us it
would help us to pass the time away and endure
our thirst. The man played and sang for us a
little while, and then rolled up in his blankets and
was soon asleep, calling hogs and sawing gourds in
that good old happy way.
After waiting there several hours, I decided we
had been away long enough for James to have had
time to reach his home; so I woke the man up and
told him that we were going back to the river,
where we could get a drink of that good muddy
He said that he could not understand our move-
ments; that he thought we were to be gone several
I told him that we would have to go, and, turn-
ing to the driver and the other boys, I said that we
would have to travel quietly. We had good luck
in fording the river, but when we reached the other
side we found two roads, one leading to the left and
and the other to the right. I had to study a mo-
ment to determine what we had better do.
I was afraid James had caught on to us; so I
sent George Black and Frank Hofer around the
left-hand road, and Farris and I went the other
way. I thought, by doing that, we would catch
James, even if he became suspicious and left the
river to go back to his old hiding place.
I told Black and Hofer that if they found the
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 67
gates down, they must run fast and that we would
do the same thing. The two roads were only half
a mile apart, and I could hear a dog barking fur-
ther up the road on the left, and, thinking it might
mean that someone had gone ahead to notify
James of our coming, we ran as swiftly as our
horses could carry us, all four of us reaching James'
house at the same time.
We quickly dismounted, and the other boys sur-
rounded the house while I knocked at the front
A lady asked who I was and what I wanted. I
told her that I was Sullivan and wanted her hus-
She said he wasn't there, and that I had been
searching her house so much that she was not go-
ing to open the door.
I told her I couldn't help that, and, though I was
sorry for her, I made her open the door at last.
She said she would not turn on a light. I told
her I would attend to that part of it alright, and
when I went into the house I pulled a handful of
matches from my pocket and lit the whole bunch
. at once, which made a good light.
The boys outside were eagerly watching the
house to see if Bill James would run out. I
searched the house thoroughly, but could not find
my man, and finally decided that he was not there
and gave up the hunt.
I was greatly disappointed at my failure, for I
wanted James " awful bad." He sent us a number
of messages, saying that we had better look out;
that helwould knock us out of date. If we had met
68 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
him, though, we would have done what was right
by the gentleman.
I was satisfied, after we failed to find him, that
he was further from home than we thought he was,
and that he failed to learn that we had left Greer
Frank Hofer and I thought once that we had
him in a cave. The cave was in the side of a big
mountain, and we had to climb about two hundred
feet to get to it.
When we first entered the cave, Frank and I
could walk side by side, but the further we went
the narrower the cave got, and we finally had to
walk " single file." The cave was small, but we
soon saw that it opened into another one.
It was very dark inside the cave, and we had to
feel our way as we went. We came to a place
through which we had to go sidewise, and at an-
other place we ran across a spring. We could
smell bacon, and knew by that and other signs
that men had camped in there, and we were also
sure that Bill James was at that moment in the
back part of that cave. We came across funny
things and heard strange noises, and the further
we went, the darker it got.
Finally Frank asked me if I didn't think we were
acting foolishly in going blindly into that cave.
"I expect we are/' I replied.
"Let's get out," said Frank.
I told him I was willing; so we groped our way
out, and we were glad to see daylight again.
It was about thirty feet to the top of the moun-
tain, and we knew the cave must have extended
quite a number of feet upward. There was lots of
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 69
brush and wood on top; so we decided to throw
down some of it and pile it in the cave and set fire
to it and smoke the man out.
Frank climbed to the top of the mountain and
threw the wood down onto a bench that made off
from the mountain, and I dragged it back and piled
it up in the cave. When we finished our task we
ignited the wood and brush and got off a little way
to wait for the man to come out.
The wood blazed up in good fashion, but in a
little while we commenced wondering where the
smoke was going to. We soon found out, however,
for the smoke and heat ascended to the top of the
mountain inside the cave, but, not being able to
get out, it rebounded and began pouring out of the
cave in great volume. The heat was intense, and
we could not see which way to turn on account of
the smoke. Fire gushed out of the cave, and the
flames were blown against us, setting us on fire be-
fore we could get out of the way. Instead of smok-
ing out men and fighting criminals, we were setting
fire to ourselves and fighting the flames.
It would have been better if we had gone on and
explored the cave, and let the smoking business
alone, but we were afraid to venture too far in
when it was so dark, and we did not know what
we were going to run into. Somebody told us if
we had gone on to the end of the cave, we might
have found some money, but I hadn't lost any
money in there just at that date, and Frank said
he hadn't, so we thought we had no particular
amount of business in there, and we decided to
beat a retreat.
James was finally captured in the Indian Terri-
70 Twelve Years ijs t the Saddle.
tory by some United States marshals, and was
tried for the murder which he was alleged to have
committed, but was acquitted. Before I close
this story, however, I shall relate another incident
which happened while we were trailing James.
Early one morning the other boys and myself
went to the top of a mountain to look down upon
James' house through a field glass, and see if we
couldn't catch James slipping into his house.
While looking through the glass I discovered a
man about two miles from us and a mile from Bill's
house. He was walking around another mountain,
and held something in his hand that shined so in
the sunlight that we could see it at that great dis-
tance. Thinking that was Bill slipping away from
house with his Winchester, we ran quickly to the
mountain, reaching it in a few minutes.
I told Hofer, Black and Farris to run around the
mountain one way, and I started around the other
way. We felt sure we had Bill this time, and were
so elated that we ran much faster than was neces-
sary, and were traveling at full speed, when we all
three reached the man at the same time.
We arrested him and asked him his name.
He said, "I am Rev. Joe Smith, and, as I am go-
ing to preach today, I have come out here to pray."
We were dumfounded. Noticing that the large
Bible, which Brother Smith carried, had big silver
letters on it, we realized that what we thought was
Bill James' Winchester was in reality the Holy
" Brother Smith" showed us their little church,
which was situated at the foot of the mountain,
and the mountain had obstructed it from our view.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 71
We humbly apologized to the preacher, and he
said that he was thankful and glad to know that it
was a mistake. He laughingly remarked that he
thought his time had come, and said if he could re-
gain his composure he would go on up to the church
and preach his sermon.
72 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Indians on The Warpath
While the ranger boys and I were camping on
the North Fork of the Red River, still in search of
Bill James, we received a call to go about twenty-
five miles further up the river, to protect a family
who were threatened with extermination by a band
of Indians. We were quite busy at that time ; for
every day, nearly, we had a horse thief or some
other bad character to capture.
We went up, however, to see what we could do
for the family who had called for help. I took
with me two deputy marshals, Jeff Minet and Tom
Mason. I also took my rangers, George Black,
Jim Farris and Frank Hofer, the latter being the
best Indian fighter in the bunch.
When we reached the house, where the family
lived who were threatened by the Indians, we
learned that a young man had killed an Indian,
who had attempted to steal a steer from them.
The Indian was armed with a Winchester, and
when the young man caught the Indian in the act
of stealing, the Indian tried to shoot him, but the
boy was too quick for him and shot the Indian, kill-
ing him instantly.
The Indians went on the warpath, and sent word
to the whites that they would kill everybody on
Wolf Creek, and when we arrived upon the scene,
we found them in an ugly humor. They had their
faces painted up, and had made all necessary prep-
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 73
arations to kill out the whole family of the young
man who had killed a member of their tribe.
! We were there to protect the family, and, in do-
ing so, it was up to us six men to stand off the In-
dians, which seemed to us an impossible task. We
felt like we were going to be killed, but it was our
duty to stay there and protect the women and chil-
dren from the wrath of the Cohuahua Indians.
Those Indians looked quite fierce, and, as you may
imagine, we looked rather wild too. It didn't feel
a bit funny to us, and we certainly felt small when
we looked at them. I was not a bit frightened at
first, but for three or four days afterward I felt very
shaky, and constantly put my hand up to my head
to see if I was scalped.
We made peace with the Indians by bluffing
them, and making them think we would kill all of
them if they attempted to fight us. We did not
expect to prevent trouble that easily, and were sur-
prised when we learned that they had decided not
not to fight us. It was remarkable that they were
so easily subdued. If they had tried, they would
have killed us all, and we often wondered why they
The people, whose lives we saved, were very
thankful to us, and when they had recovered suffi-
ciently from their fright they entertained us roy-
ally. We were given all the good fried chickens
we could eat, and treated as if we were preachers
and lords of England.
74 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
The Opening of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe
In 1891 the Cheyenne and Arapahoe Strip was
opened up to settlers. Billy McCauley, Lon Lewis,
John Herrington, Capt. W. J. McDonald and I left
Quanah to go to the opening of this strip, knowing
that this would be a good place to capture out-
laws. We went by Mangum, in Greer County, and
got John Byers and John Ovelton and stopped at
Oak Creek, which was about nine miles from what
was going to be the new county seat — Cloudchief.
This territory was to open up at twelve o'clock, and
when we reached Oak Creek we got the correct
time from one of the soldiers. About twenty-five
hundred men were at Oak Creek alone, waiting for
twelve o'clock to come.
When the hand of my watch reached twelve, I
laid steel to my horse, and we all made a break for
the county seat, after crossing Oak Creek, which
was about fifty steps from us. Men from all sides
of this strip were headed for the new county seat,
under full speed. Wild cats, loboes, coyotes, an-
telopes and badgers were running in every direc-
tion. One of our posse roped a deer, and another
killed one, while they were all running in every
direction. This was about as exciting a time as I
ever experienced ; horses falling on every side, from
stepping in gopher and salamander holes, and dust
so thick that a man could hardly see in front of
him. Our crowd made the run of nine miles in
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 75
thirty-five minutes. I staked out two claims, one
within a mile, and the other a mile and a half from
the county seat.
The signal, which meant that the county seat
was open for settlers, was given by a soldier firing
a cannon. Up to this time there wasn't a soul to
be seen in the new county. In less than thirty
minutes after the signal was given this was a solid
city covered with tents. We people, who made
the run, were to get a business lot and residence
lot. I made a mistake and staked a street instead
of a lot. I had quite a little argument before they
convinced me that I was mistaken. We failed to
locate any parties that we wanted and turned back
to our headquarters in Quanah.
76 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
A Cup and Saucer Event
In the fall of 1892 Capt. McDonald discharged
the company cook, and each ranger had to do the
cooking for a week while in camp. On one occa-
sion it was Ben Owen's week to cook, and, after
preparing an inviting breakfast one frosty morn-
ing at the camp in Amarillo, he discovered in set-
ting the table that he was short one saucer, and it
so happened, when the boys took their seats at the
table, that Lee Queen was the man short a saucer,
and Queen made some remark about everyone hav-
ing a saucer but him. Owens shoved his saucer
over to Queen, striking his cup and knocked a
little coffee out on the table, and, at the same time,
remarked, "Here, baby, take this one.''
This seemed to offend Queen very much, and he
threw the saucer back to Owen, striking his cup,
breaking both cup and saucer. Both men jumped
to their feet and pulled their guns. I grabbed both
men and prevented what might have been a killing
over a very small thing. I have always been glad
that I was in time to prevent this shooting, and I
go on the theory that it is better to be a peacemaker
and prevent trouble than to make it. After a few
minutes, Owen and Queen saw the folly of their
acts, shook hands, and have remained to this day
the best of friends.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 77
A Prisoner Escapes
While stationed at Amarillo I went to Wood-
ward, Oklahoma, after a fellow by the name of Bill
Hines, who robbed a man of $600.00 in Collings-
worth County. I caught this man, and while we
were crossing the Canadian River, about a mile
from Canadian City, I dropped off to sleep, as I
had been on the go for three days and nights and
was worn out. I woke up in Canadian City, and
found that Billie had bidden me good-bye while I
was asleep, and had struck a stock train and gone
back to Woodward, Oklahoma. He had taken this
train before I awoke after our train had arrived in
Canadian City. This is the only man who ever
made his escape from me: I took the train the
next morning for Woodward City, but failed to
That day, while I was searching for Bill in Wood-
ward, three prisoners broke jail at this place. I
was called on to assist the officers in the capture of
these three men. I got in shape at once, and
joined the posse. Ex-Sheriff Love and I crossed
the Canadian River one mile below where the pris-
oners had crossed. Tobe Odom and his posse en-
gaged in a fight with Jim Hefner and John Hill, two
of the prisoners. We reached them too late to join
in the fight. Both of the fugitives were killed.
Ben Woodford's right arm was shot off.
George Wattle, the third prisoner, was not with
78 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
the party at the time of the fight, but we found him
one mile from there lying down on his Winchester.
He made no fight, and when called upon to sur-
render, he threw up his hands at once. Several
of the men in the crowd said, " Let's kill him any-
how." I spoke up and said, "If you kill that man
I'll hold you responsible for murder, as he has sur-
rendered and thrown up his hands." Temple
Houston, who was with us, spoke up and said,
"Sullivan, you are right." We sent for a hack and
hauled the three men in — two dead, and one alive.
We jailed Wattle. This fellow, John Hill, was a
very dangerous man. He feared nothing on earth
and was known as a slick artist in the Territory in
his line of business. Hefner was not so desperate,
but all three were bad enough.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 79
The Capture of Rip Pearce
I captured one Rip Pearce, charged with hold-
holding up a Fort Worth & Denver passenger
train, with the intention of robbing the express
car. He held up this train in a cut about four hun-
dred yards from the Canadian River, near Tascosa,
Texas. Rip Pearce was about thirty years of age
at that time, and was six feet two inches and a half
tall, and weighed about 200 pounds. When I ar-
rested Pearce he made no fight. I jailed him at
Tascosa. I concealed myself at the jail, and did
not let him know it. He became awfully restless,
and commenced walking the floor and talking to
himself. There were no other prisoners in the jail
except him. He cried and said, "If I ever live to
get out of this scrape, I will always behave myself
and lead a different life." When I made him make
this remark, I was satisfied that I had the right
D. B. Hill was district attorney. I had a hard
time locating Mr. Hill, but I kept the wires hot in
every direction and finally got word to him, and he
arrived just in time to keep Judge Penery from re-
leasing Pearce from the jail on a writ of habeas
corpus. Pearce had employed Judge Penery to
defend him in his case. Judge Penery was at one
time county judge of his county. Pearce knew
that the judge was a fine lawyer, and I also found
it out before this trial was over.
After Pearce was released he fell in love with a
80 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
bunch of horses in Hall County. He fancied these
horses, and at last got the consent of his mind to
deprive the owner of them, and was captured and
sentenced to seven years in the penitentiary. He
served his time out, and has been free for several
years. I learned that he had reformed and was
living a good, honest, upright life, which I was
very glad to know.
||j|j||i|ijfc :0k%i- l i *'5f J*.-. : ll
IIP! i§T-M ' iiilla
; '- : .';.;>^. *' " 'k : '
'Sergeant Sullivan in Camp.'
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 81
A Practical Joker Gets Into Trouble
While I was at Amarillo, one Bob Keene, who
was traveling from New Mexico to Amarillo, met
the stage coming from Plainview to Amarillo. He
held the stage-driver up and made him get out of
the stage, and, pointing his sixshooter at him, he
made the driver dance nearly two hours. After
releasing him, Keene forced the driver to drink
until he was pretty well under the influence of
" Brother Red-Eye." Keene then started on his
way, and the driver was satisfied he had gotten
rid of him. When he had driven about three
miles, however, he heard a noise behind him. He
looked around, and Keene threw down on him
again, and held him up and had him to cut the
"pigeon wing" again. The driver reported Keene
as soon as he arrived in Amarillo. I was not in
camp at that time, and he reported this to the
rangers. Bob McClure, and one or two of the
rangers, left at once and followed Keene out to the
seven-mile windmill, where he had held the driver
up. It commenced snowing and they returned to
camp. I came in that night at twelve o'clock off
a scout, and they laid this case before me. The
next morning I took my saddle horse and one of
the State mules and got a buggy, and, with Duncan
Meredith, one of the rangers, I started out to find
this man. The snow was nearly knee-deep to our
team, and covered the ground everywhere in that
part of the state and caused us to lose our way sev-
82 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
eral times; but we succeeded in getting out, and
about sixty-five miles west of Amarillo, at Jim
Ivey's ranch, I captured Bob Keene. He was
tried at Fort Graham for holding the stage up and
detaining the United States mail, and was fined
nearly a thousand dollars.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 83
Race Thomas is Guarded
I was called by Hughes Tittle, the sheriff of
Greer County, to assist him in holding a mob off
Jeff Adams and Race Thomas, who had killed Mc-
Muse. A mob of one hundred and fifty armed men
tried to take these two men from the sheriff as he
went to feed the prisoners. Hughes Tittle was
such a noble man, and so well-known by this mob
for his good qualities and bravery, that the mob
would not take his life to get these criminals.
Hughes wired me at Amarillo to come and assist
him, in case the mob made another break. I went
at once, and stayed there two months guarding the
jail day and night, but the mob never returned.
Race turned State's evidence, and Adams got a
life sentence in the penitentiary, but was held six
years in the Quanah jail while the authorities
waited to see who had jurisdiction over Greer
County — the State of Texas or the United States;
but Uncle Sam finally fell heir to the county. Ad-
ams went to the penitentiary for life. While in
jail Adams used every means to make his escape.
I was called on by the jailer of Quanah to help
search the jail, when he found where Adams was
cutting or sawing. At last we found his saw tied
to him on the inside of his clothes. While bring-
ing Adams from Mangum, he and Thomas tried
every way possible to pick their shackles when
night came on. We had a time getting Adams'
81 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
shackles and handcuffs off, as he had broken off
several toothpicks in the keyholes.
We also held Race Thomas for a witness for six
years. Uncle Sam agreed that the State of Texas
was entitled to jurisdiction over Greer County at
that time. I have not given the full details of this
trial, as I do not deem it of importance to do so.
Greer County is ninety miles long and seventy-
eight miles wide. It is the largest county known
in the world. At that time this county was run-
ning over with all kinds of outlaws. While in the
ranger service I only searched four caves, one in
Greer County, one in the Indian Territory, across
the North Fork of Red River, and two in Palo
Pinto County. I always felt somewhat lonely
while searching these caves.
I was one of the rangers who helped to guard
George Isaacs at Quanah, when he was sentenced
to the pen for life for killing Tom McGee, the sher-
iff of Hemphill County, at Canadian City. After
he was sentenced I carried him to Fort Worth and
jailed him for the contractor at the penitentiary
to come and get him. He was pardoned out
through a false pardon by a man by the name of
Dent, who had served four years in the peniten-
tiary. While in there he got acquainted with
Isaacs. This was during Governor Sayers' ad-
ministration. Governor Sayers was perfectly in-
nocent of knowing anything of this pardon, or any-
thing of Isaacs being out of the pen, until he was
notified by Judge Sam Cowan, a lawyer who helped
to prosecute him. The officers who helped hold
this court and guard Isaacs during the trial, were
Fred Dodge ; Captain Arrington, one of the old ex-
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 85
ranger captains; Charlie Stockton; Captain A. J.
Paine; three Wells-Fargo men; Dick Cofer, the
sheriff of Hardeman County , and myself; also sev-
eral others — eighteen guards in all.
This is just a small sketch of this. I have not
gone into details in this case, as I have in some
others. Dent was captured, tried for the killing
of Tom McGee, and sentenced to the penitentiary
for life, and is now serving his sentence.
86 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
A Sad Farewell
I went to Canadian City one day after two pris-
oners who were sentenced to the penitentiary. I
was called upon to take them to Fort Worth and
turn them over to an agent of the penitentiary,
who was to take them from there to Huntsville,
where the State prison is located.
Reaching Canadian City, I went first to the ho-
tel to get breakfast. As soon as I set my grip and
Winchester down, I was approached by two ladies,
who asked me if I had come after some prisoners.
One of them was an old lady, while the other was
rather young looking, and, from the worried ex-
pressions on their faces, I took them to be the mo-
ther and sister of Jim Long, one of the two prison-
ers whom I had come after. Long was sentenced
to the penitentiary for forging checks on a bank in
Answering their question, I told the women that
I had come after two prisoners to take them to the
penitentiary. Both of them got up from their
chairs and commenced to pacing up and down the
floor, sighing and groaning.
After I had eaten breakfast, the old lady told me
that she was Jim Long's mother, and that the other
lady was his wife. They asked me if they could
stay at the jail with Long until the train arrived,
and I told them that I thought it would be alright
with the sheriff. Getting the sheriff's permission
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 87
also, they stayed in the jail with the prisoner until
nearly train time.
When the time came for me to take the prison-
ers from the jail, I handcuffed them together, and,
with the sheriff and the two ladies, we started for
the depot. The strain was too great for Long's
wife, and she fainted as we were leaving the jail.
Long's mother bore up pretty well under the or-
deal, though it was quite an effort, but she did it
on account of her daughter-in-law, who fainted
two more times before we reached the depot. The
old lady couldn't keep the tears back, however, and
she walked all the way to the depot with her arms
around her son. The sheriff and Long's wife
walked behind us, the former trying his best to
console Mrs. Long.
When we reached the depot, Long's mother
leaned over and whispered to me that she had sev-
enty-five cents at the jail, and that she had given
her son twenty-five cents, and wanted to give him
the other fifty cents, too. She asked me my ad-
vice about it, and I told her to give it to him if she
wanted to. She gave the money to him, and when
we reached the depot she told me that she and her
daughter had return tickets to their home town,
but that they owed a four days' hotel bill and had
no money to pay it with. They seemed very much
distressed about it, but I told them not to worry;
that I would see that the bill was paid. I found
the proprietor of the hotel in the depot and talked
with him about the matter, and he agreed to knock
off one-third of the bill. I then paid one of the re-
maining thirds, and the sheriff paid the other, leav-
88 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
ing them free of that debt. We saw that they ar-
rived safely home, and it made us happy to think
that we had soothed the broken hearts of two poor,
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 89
A Clever Thief is Caught
While at my post of duty in Amarillo, Captain
W. J. McDonald told me to take whichever one of
the ranger boys I wanted and go to a certain ranch
in the Panhandle country and look after some cat-
tle stealing that was alleged to be going on. I took
Jeff Madkins, a ranger who had lately been enlisted
in the service. I wanted to try his nerve, and I
decided that this would be a good place, as this
ranch was situated on the Texas and the Territory
boundary line, and I knew that we would come in
contact with many tough characters before we were
through with our work in that part of the State.
This cattle company boarded Madkins and me
and our two horses, and gave us forty dollars
apiece every month above what the State was giv-
ing us. At that time I was corporal and drew
thirty-five dollars a month regularly.
Madkins and I rode every day for four months
looking for cattle thieves. The superintendent of
this ranch and his wife and son, all three, claimed
that the nesters were stealing the cattle ; so we took
particular pains to visit these nesters as often as we
could, but failed to find any beef on their tables, or
beef bones lying around the place; all the beef that
we got to eat would be at the general round-ups.
At these round-ups, one of the nesters would kill a
calf today, and, in a day or two, another nester
would kill one of his calves. Then the superin-
tendent of the ranch would kill a beef.
90 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
This superintendent was paying a high tax to
the State for so many head of cattle. This Eng-
lish company seemed to have gotten uneasy, for
some reason, and sent from Austin, Texas, a man
to investigate the condition of their ranch. He
and I had a talk. I had at that time been there
only two months. I had ridden this pasture out
thoroughly everywhere, and had made close a in-
vestigation, and I was prepared to answer this
man's questions, and he interrogated me rather
closely, too. He asked me how many cattle there
were on the ranch that belonged to the company.
I told him that I had ridden. the pasture for two
months, and I didn't believe that there could be
over fifteen hundred or two thousand head of cattle
rounded up in that company's brand.
What I said somewhat vexed this man, and he
claimed that the company was paying taxes on
eighteen or twenty thousand head of cattle. I
told him the cattle were not on the ranch. He
then asked me what I thought about the stealing
that was going on.
I told him that I thought there was very little
stealing going on by the nesters, though some-
times they might slip a calf, but it was seldom.
Then he asked me about the lobo wolves, and I
told him that I did not think they were bad; for I
seldom ever saw a cow running across the prairie
from one high peak to another bawling for her
calf, and that I believed I could safely say to him
that there was a mistake in regard to the nesters
stealing the company out; but, if I stayed there
long enough, I would catch the parties who were
doing the stealing.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 91
So I remained there two months longer, riding
every day. The superintendent was furnished by
the company all the horses that he and his wife and
son needed to ride, and all the milk cows they
wanted. Outside of that, however, they were not
allowed to own a horse or a cow on the inside of
that pasture. I began to suspect the superin-
tendent, and one day, during a round-up, while I
was sitting under a mesquite tree, the horse rang-
ier, who had charge of the remouther, came up and
talked with this superintendent for quite a while.
It came to my mind, when this fellow rode up, that
he might be able to give me some information as to
whether the superintendent was acting fairly with
the company or not ; so I took my day-book out of
my pocket, and I told him that the old man and
the old lady had promised time after time to give
me their brands of the cattle which they owned
themselves. This was not so, however, for the su-
perintendent and his wife never had told me that
they owned a cow or a calf inside of this pasture.
They told me that all the cows that they needed to
milk were furnished to them by the company, and
the company would not allow them to own a cow
and calf inside of the pasture. This remouther
rangier dismounted, and took my day-book and
wrote down a brand for the old man, a brand for
his son, a brand for his daughter, and two brands
that they had bought, making six brands the fam-
ily owned inside the pasture.
I took these brands to the bookkeeper, a nephew
of the owner of the ranch, who just had sense
enough outside of book-keeping to know that he
was human. I asked him if the superintendent
92 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
had any right to own brands in that pasture. He
said that he was not allowed to own even one cow.
I showed him the six brands which I had procured
from the horse rangier, and asked him if he knew
whether that superintendent was running those
brands in his pasture. He said he did not know
it, and did not think it could be possible. He
asked me to give him the brands, which I did, and
he sent them at once to England to his uncle. His
uncle sent a man at once from England to investi-
gate this matter. The man from England, after
investigating the condition of affairs, was thor-
oughly convinced that the superintendent and his
family had stolen this ranch nearly out of cattle;
so he fired the whole business off the ranch at once
and put another man in his place. The new man-
ager rounded the pasture up from one end to the
other, and cut the company's cattle out to them-
selves and counted them. He got the large sum
of eleven hundred and twenty head.
Madkins and I were invited one night by the
former superintendent's wife to come up to her
house. We accepted her invitation, and when we
stepped into her room we hardly knew her, she was
dressed in such fine style — diamonds in her ears,
diamonds on her fingers, and diamonds on log chain
bracelets, and a three-hundred-dollar scarf pin.
She and Madkins and I seated ourselves around a
beautiful table, while her husband lay on a fine
Opening the conversation, the lady said, "Mr.
Sullivan, what I wanted to see you about is in re-
gard to seven men on the inside of these wires.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 93
This stealing that is going on will never cease until
the scalps of these seven men are taken."
She then named the men over to us, and said
that there was two thousand dollars apiece for the
scalps of these seven men. She said she had the
money ready to pay for their scalps as soon as they
were turned over to her.
I sat still and said nothing, but listened to her
proposition. When she had finished, I looked at
her and asked, "Did you aim that proposition at
"Not particularly at you, Mr. Sullivan," she re-
plied, "but at anyone who sees fit to take it up.
The money is ready now."
I told her that the State of Texas didn't have me
employed to take men's life and property, but to
protect them, and that I was going to execute the
law in the proper way. "If you or your husband,
who is lying over there on the sofa, or your son
should violate the laws of our state, I would arrest
you as quickly as I would any other criminals."
She saw that I was mad, and she said that she
didn't mean her proposition to me, but for anyone
who wanted to take it up.
When we left the house, I told Madkins that I
was a little too hasty in refusing to consider her
proposition. "A character like that," I said,
"ought to be in the penitentiary, and, as district
court is in session, I shall lay the case before the
judge and prosecuting attorney."
I went to town the next morning and saw those
two officials, and repeated the whole conversation
which took place between the woman and me the
night before. I told them that I was going back
94 Twelve Years ia t the Saddle.
and take up her proposition, and make her pay
me half the money down and take her note for the
balance, to be paid when the work was done.
"Then I will turn the money over to you, judge/ 7
I continued, "and we will prosecute that woman
and put her in the penitentiary, where all such
The judge and the attorney both spoke up then,
and said that I had made her mad and that I
couldn't stand in with her any more.
I told them that I could tell the woman that I
refused to consider her proposition because she
made it to me in the presence of the other ranger,
whom I could not trust, since he was a new man
in the company and I did not know him well
enough. I told them again that I could make a
trade with her, and we would get the papers and
money for proof and send her to the penitentiary.
Both of them begged me not to interfere with
her, saying that she was crazy, or she would not
have made that proposal to me. They finally per-
suaded me not to get the woman into trouble, and
I let the case stop where it was.
It seemed, however, that she was bent on getting
into the penitentiary before she was through.
A certain man — one of the seven whom she
wanted killed — lived in the pasture about a mile
from her house. He had been in a shooting scrape
with her son a year before, and one evening while
sitting in front of my boarding house talking to
two other boarders, I saw this man riding from the
postoffice to his home. The woman lived about a
block from where we were, and the man had to pass
her house on his way home.
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 95
The woman had often told me that this man was
always armed ; so on this occasion, as he rode by on
his horse, I watched closely to see if I could see the
print of his sixshooter. He had on a little blue
jumper coat, and I could not see any sign of a gun
being on him, though it would easily have made an
impression on his little coat if he had been carrying
As I was watching him ride slowly up the street,
I noticed the woman, with a gun in her hand, stand-
ing in the east corner of her yard, just a few steps
from where the man whom she hated had to pass
in another minute.
I asked the man, who ran the boarding house,
how long it had been since the man on the horse
and the woman's son had met.
He replied that they had never met since they
had the shooting scrape.
I suggested to the men that we watch and see if
they speak. As we were on a line with them, we
had no difficulty in seeing their movements.
Neither one bowed nor spoke to the other. She
watched him, but he never looked to the right nor
left. He must have seen her before he reached the
house, but while he was passing close by her he
never turned his head in her direction, but looked
straight in front of him.
When he had passed her, she fired her gun twice
across the road. He never even looked around to
see if she was shooting at him, but rode straight
ahead and soon went out of sight.
It was nearly dark, and we three men were still
sitting in the yard, when the woman came down
to the gate where we were and asked for me.
96 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
I went to the gate, and she proposed that we
walk up the road, saying that she wished to talk
with me. After walking about forty steps, she
turned to me and asked, "Mr. Sullivan, what do
I told her I didn't know.
She then referred to the man whom I had seen
on horseback, and said,* "I was standing in the east
corner of my yard awhile ago, and that dirty vil-
lain passed by and jerked out a rubber handled,
blue barrel sixshooter and threw it cocked in my
I asked her why she didn't scream or notify me,
so I could arrest the man and get his gun.
"The reason why I didn't," she replied, "was
that I thought it best for you and me to get in my
buggy and go to town in the morning, and I will
swear out three . complaints against him ; one for
assaulting me with a sixshooter, one for carrying
a sixshooter, and I will also have him put under a
After telling her I would see her the next morn-
ing, I joined the two men whom I left a few min-
utes before and told them what the woman had
said. They said that they had watched every
movement that she and the man made when the
man passed her house, and that they could swear
that the woman's statements were opposite to the
truth. I then announced my intention of going
to town with the woman, and letting her swear out
the complaints against the man. I explained that
such a character should be in the penitentiary, and
that it was fortunate that there was a way of get-
ting her in there.
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 97
The two men, however, begged me not to do
that, saying that they did not want to see the
woman get into trouble. I laid the case before a
merchant, who, I afterward learned, sold lots of
goods to this woman, and he begged me not to let
the woman perjure herself.
I finally decided, myself, that it was not best to
let the woman get into so much trouble, but I went
to her house the next morning as I had promised,
and asked her if she was ready to go to town.
She said she was ready to go right away and
swear out the complaints.
I then told her that two other men besides my-
self had watched every movement that she and the
man made when he passed her house, and that we
were ready to swear that her charges were false as
soon as she swore to them.
"Mr. Sullivan," she replied, "let's drop the mat-
ter where it is, and let it go and say no more about
I told her that that was the safest way for her
to do ; that the penitentiary would have gotten her
if she had sworn out those charges against that
98 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
The Gordon Train Robbery
While at my headquarters I received a message
from Adjutant General Mabry at Austin, notify-
ing me that a train was held up on the T. & P.
Railroad, four miles east of Gordon, by four train
robbers. Superintendent J. V. Goode, of that rail-
road, gave me transportation for eight men and
eight horses and saddles, and I left at once for Gor-
don, taking with me Bob McClure, Jim Wise, Lee
Queen, Billie McCauley, Jack Harwell, Arthur
Jones and Vernon Resser, all rangers. W^e arrived
in Gordon that night and put up at the hotel.
The next morning the proprietor of the hotel
told me that there was a Jake Smith, who lived in
the country, who looked rather suspicious to him.
He said that when the train robbery was an-
nounced in the hotel, he noticed Jake Smith turn-
ing pale and becoming rather nervous. "Jake
made the remark/' continued the hotel man, "that
he bet the robbers had gone north."
I asked the proprietor if Jake ever came to town
much, or was it rather unusual for him to be in
town and stopping at the hotel. He replied that
Jake hadn't been in Gordon before in two years.
We started out early the next morning to the
country to look for the robbers. On account of
what the hotel man had told me, I went to Jake
Smith's house, but before reaching there I pro-
cured some more information concerning Smith.
I learned, among other things, that two suspicious
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 99
characters had been staying around Smith's place,
and that one of them was wounded and remained
there about six weeks. The sick man went by the
name of Wilson, and it was presumed that he was
shot while robbing some train or store. I was
pretty well prepared for Jake when I first reached
his house, but I didn't let him know it.
I shook hands with Jake, and told him that I
knew very little about the country, and that I
wanted him to pilot me to a place called Board
Tree Springs. He said he would take me there,
and we tramped all day through the rocks and
brush, and walked and rode around the many
crooks and turns of the Brazos River, not reaching
Board Tree Springs until late that evening. He
could have taken us there in a half hour if he had
wished to do so, as it was only a mile and a half
from his house ; but Jake did not want to find these
springs any sooner than he could help, for he knew
that we would discover something there.
When we reached the springs we found four
pallets, made of sage grass, spread upon the ground
where four men had slept. The pallets were about
twenty feet apart, and we saw that they had tied
four horses up for a long time.
We learned afterward that the robbers had con-
cealed themselves at this place, and that they
waited there for Wilson, the wounded man who
stopped with Jake Smith, to get well enough to
join them and help them rob the T. & P. train.
After Wilson got well they had to wait then for
the train that was to bring the money to pay off
the coal miners at Thurber.
A little while before the train was to pass by
100 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
with its fifty thousand dollars, the robbers cap-
tured the section hands and forced them to spread
the rails about nine inches. Then they made the
hands walk up the track about a hundred yards
away from the spreading of the rails, and when the
train arrived they ordered Lockerby, the section
foreman, to flag it. When the train stopped, the
robbers jumped into the express car to take the
fifty thousand dollars out, but failed to get it, as
the money was in a Thurber safe, which had a time
lock on it. They carried off two thousand dollars,
however, that they found in another safe which
was smaller than the Thurber safe and more easily
The train pulled into Gordon an hour late, and
the conductor reported the robbery to the officers,
and, as already stated, I was then ordered by Ad-
jutant General Mabry to do all I could to run down
the robbers. Governor James S. Hogg was on the
train when it was held up.
When we reached Board Tree Springs we found
a large bay horse, branded low down on his left
thigh with a letter E. This horse was shod with
new shoes, but his feet were terribly cut and
bruised around the hoofs. They had run him over
the hills and rocks until he was unable to travel any
longer. The robbers then stole a Paint horse and
rode him out and left the bay.
In a live oak thicket, near where the men had
done their cooking, I found two boxes, a coffee pot,
frying pan, skillet and a water bucket.
Jake Smith claimed that the first day they came
to his house there were only two men, and he said
they told him that they wanted to find a pasture
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 101
for twelve or fifteen hundred head of cattle. Jake
said that the men borrowed the cooking utensils
which we found in the thicket from him. He also
explained Wilson's presence in his house, by say-
ing that the latter came to him and claimed to be
suffering with a rising, and he felt sorry for him and
let him stay in his house.
I also found a nail apron, with sugar in one end
of it and salt in the other. A carpenter was work-
ing on Smith's house when the two men first took
dinner there, and while the wounded man was
boarding with Smith. Upon opening the two
boxes which I found, I discovered some soda in a
lady's dress sleeve, and some new clothes with cost
marks still on them. I learned that a store had
been robbed about eighteen miles from there, and
I notified the merchant of my discovery, and he
identified the articles as some of his merchandise
and took them back with him. On the two boxes,
which we opened, we found written in big letters
this warning: "Look out for small-pox."
All this proved to us that the men were guilty,
and that Jake Smith had aided them somewhat in
their work ; so I told Jake that he was under arrest,
but I kept him in the mountains eleven days before
I took him to jail.
After arresting Smith I went on that evening to
Jack Scott's house to arrest him, too. When we
arrived at his house, Mrs. Scott informed us that
her husband was down at Bill Hitson's, near the
river, helping to brand cattle. Our party at that
time consisted of eighteen men, and I did not want
to take so many to Mr. Hitson's, so I asked Mrs.
Scott if she could keep nine men for me that night,
102 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
and she replied that she could. I left them there,
and the other eight men and myself started for Bill
When we were half way there we met three cow-
boys, and I spoke to them and asked if one of them
was Jack Scott. One man spoke up and said he
was Scott ; so I put him under arrest and took him
back to Bill Hitson's with me, and let the other two
The nine men whom I had left at Mrs. Scott's
came up and told me that the two cowboys, who
were with Scott a little while before, had reported
to Mrs. Scott that I had arrested her husband, and
she ordered them off the place, saying that she
did not want them to roost under her roof. Hitson
had to take care of all eighteen of us, but he did
not seem to mind it and treated us nicely.
I didn't let Smith and Scott get together, for I
did not want them to "make medicine. " I went
back to Scott's house the next morning with him,
and offered him five hundred dollars if he would
tell me the names of the guilty parties, but Scott
replied that he did not know any more than I did
about the affair. I got him to walk with me back
to the bunch of men where Smith was. When we
got close enough for Smith to hear me, I said to
Scott, "I thank you for giving me so much infor-
mation about the guilty parties."
I watched Smith closely to see what effect that
would have on him. He turned pale at first, and
in another minute perspiration began to pour off
his face. I looked around over the boys, and acted
as if I was quite particular about whom I selected,
and told Bob McClure and Lee Queen to guard
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 103
Jake carefully ; that we surely did not want him to
escape. After I had handcuffed Jake, we mounted
our horses and rode off, Jake and I riding close to
Jake asked me what Jack Scott had told me. I
replied that Scott had informed me that he (Jake)
had harbored the men who robbed the store and
the express car. He said that Scott was a liar.
I saw all the time that he was worried, and I
tried hard to make him break down and give me
the names and whereabouts of the robbers, prom-
ising to release him if he did so, but he would not
When we reached Smith's house, I left Jake out-
side with the others, and took Jim Wise, a ranger,
into the house where Mrs. Smith, her daughter, and
three young men were.
I asked Mrs. Smith if these three men were her
"Two of them are/' she replied.
"I want to talk to the oldest one," I said, and
The young man stepped forward, and I informed
him that his father was under arrest for being an
accessory to the Gordon train robbery. I told him
that his father had informed me that he had let the
robbers have a bucket, some cooking utensils, some
flour and some meat, but he could not remember
whether it was a ham or a shoulder.
"It was a ham/' said the boy.
I told him that his father couldn't remember the
dates when he did these things, but asked me to see
his sons about it, saying they could remember such
things better than he could.
104 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
"I remember when the things occurred/' replied -
the boy, "but I cannot remember the dates, though
I think my brother can give you that information."
I called his brother then, but he couldn't remem-
ber the dates either. He, however, also said what
I wanted him to. Like his brother, he did not sus-
pect my purpose, and told me that he knew these
things happened, but could not remember the
Mr. Smith's family seemed to be very nice peo-
ple. Mrs. Smith sat still during my conversation
with her son, and when I was through with him, I
told her that everything pointed to her husband's
guilt. She made no reply, but I could tell what
she and her children were thinking, from the sig-
nificant expression on their faces. Their count-
enances seemed to say in words: " Father, hus-
band, you should not have stood in with Bill, the
crippled robber, and, if you hadn't, you would not
be in such a bad shape now."
Captain Lightfoot, an officer from Thurber, and
I took Smith to Dallas and lodged him in the
county jail. When he entered the jail he turned
over all the money he had with him, except two
dollars, to the jailer. Because he broke into the
Dallas County jail with the small sum of two dol-
lars, the jail-birds flogged Smith soundly, and,
stripping him, poured a pitcher of icewater on him.
Smith was tried for his part in the robbery, but
was acquitted, though the common belief was that
he was guilty. McCall, a prominent attorney of
Weatherford, represented him.
After disposing of Smith, I returned to the
mountains to capture the four robbers. One
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 105
night while some of us rangers were in a mesquite
flat, we looked up and saw four men coming down
off a mountain. I told my boys that they must
be the robbers, and, when the men got closer, we
heard them say something about us being rangers.
Then, believing more firmly than ever that they
were the robbers, we charged them, but when we
arrived within fifty yards of them, a man in the
crowd called out to me that he was Sheriff Williams
of Young County. They were looking for the same
robbers that we were, so we joined forces and went
to Hitson's ranch to spend the rest of the night.
We were in a mighty rough country to hunt
criminals, and were very much handicapped in that
respect. We were told, upon good authority, that
there were three hundred and eleven miles of
crooks and bends in the Brazos River in Palo Pinto
County, while it is only thirty miles straight across.
No one can imagine how rough it was up and down
that river, unless he has been there long enough to
see it for himself. It was hard on us rangers, com-
ing, as we did, off the plains in August and dropping
down into these hills, rocks, cat-claws and prickly
pears at such a dreadful time of the year.
We learned some time after we first visited
Board Tree Springs that there was a cave about
seventy-five yards from there which led under a
hill. We thought it possible for the robbers to be
in that cave; so we entered it and searched thor-
oughly for the men, but failed to find them. It
was such a gloomy looking place in there that we
drew straws to see who were to go in, and it fell on
Arthur Jones and me. The cave was about seven
feet high and eight feet wide, and extended back
106 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
about a hundred yards. Arthur and I searched
every crook and corner, and discovered many
rocks, some of them weighing from sixty to a hun-
dred tons. With our sixshooters cocked and ready
for action, we looked behind every large rock, and
were disappointed every time we failed to find the
While we were going out of the cave we heard
the sound of money and heard the boys outside
calling out to us that they had found money.
Arthur and I both broke for the entrance, and be-
fore we got out we heard one of the boys say, "It's"
a twenty-dollar bill." Our lights went out, but
we did not stop running. We ran into so many
rocks, however, that we were skinned up and
bruised from head to foot and looked as if we had
been in an Irish battle. When we reached the out-
side the boys gave us the horse laugh, and we were
confronted with the cold fact that it was all a joke.
We stayed in that country for some time after
that, but were finally forced to abandon our chase,
as luck was entirely against us.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 107
The Surrender of Four Train Robbers
On the night of November 14, 1895, being at
headquarters camp at Amarillo, on the Fort
Worth & Denver Railroad, I received a telegram
from George Leftrick notifying me that six well-
armed men, whose actions were suspicious, were
camped in Sid Webb's pasture, twelve miles south
of Bellview, Clay County, Texas.
I had just returned with seven mounted men
from an unsuccessful search, lasting eighteen days,
on the Brazos River and in the Palo Pinto moun-
tains, for four men who had held up a Texas & Pa-
cific train, four miles east of Gordon, in Palo Pinto
Knowing that a train robbery had been com-
mitted at Red Fork some time previously, and sus-
pecting that these men mentioned by Leftrick were
the robbers, I took Billy McCauley, Jim Wise, Doc
Neeley, Jack Howell and Bob McClure and left for
Bellview, shipping our saddles on the train. On
arriving within two and one-half miles of Bellview,
I got George Thorn, the conductor, to stop the
train, and four of us got off, taking our saddles.
Concealing ourselves, we sent word to Leftrick by
the other men, informing him of our location, and
requesting him to come and bring horses for the
When Leftrick arrived I asked him to guide us
to the house where the six men were. When we
had gotten within two and one-half miles of the
108 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
house, I saw a man on horseback, some distance
off; and he discovered us about the same time, and
raised his head and watched us. We were riding
fast, and I told the boys to slow their horses and I
would investigate the man. When I started to-
ward him, he broke, and, when he did so, I mo-
tioned to the boys to come on. I soon came to a
four-barbed wire fence, which I cut, letting the
boys through, who came up just as I finished cut-
ting the wires. I mounted my horse again, and
we captured the man after chasing him a mile and
a half. He was also wanted; so I arrested and
handcuffed him and took him with us to within
two hundred and fifty yards of the house where the
six men were encamped.
When Lef trick showed me the house I turned
the prisoner over to Doc Neeley, one of the rang-
ers, with instructions to hold him there, and, tell-
ing the others good-bye, I ran my horse to the
house, my men all following. When I reached the
house I got off my horse, leaving the reins over his
head. I took hold of the door knob, and, as I did
so, the men in the house held the knob on the in-
side and fired two shots through the door, the bul-
lets passing between my legs. I stepped back
about four or five feet from the door and ordered
the boys to fire through the door, and we emptied
our Winchesters and sixshooters. Billy McCauley
and Jim Wise were in front of the house with me,
and Bob McClure and Jack Harvell and Leftrick
were at the back of the house behind a dugout.
As I knew the balls we were firing through the
door would go entirely through the house, I told
Billy McCauley to go behind the house and tell the
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 109
other three men to come to the front, as they were
not needed back there, there being no windows or
doors in the back of the house. After we had emp-
tied our Winchesters and sixshooters, McCauley
and Wise stepped behind a rock chimney to reload,
and I walked backward to an old wagon that stood
about twelve steps from and in front of the door of
the house. I reloaded my Winchester and six-
shooter, watching the house all the time.
By this time the men on the inside had gone up
into a loft in the house. We afterward learned
that while they were downstairs we shot the hat
off one of the men's heads, and a bullet grazed the
neck of one of the men, cutting his coat collar and
shirt. When they reached the loft they began
fighting us from there. After I had reloaded I
motioned to Billy McCauley and Jim Wise to come
to me. Jim didn't come, but Billy joined me, and
asked me what I intended to do. We were then
about six feet from the door.
"I am going to break the door down and go in,"
" Isn't that very dangerous?" asked Billy.
"Yes," I replied, "but it is just as dangerous
here. We have to get them, and that is the only
I then broke the door open and sprang into the
house, Billy following me. I saw that the floor of
the loft was made of plank an inch thick, with no
opening except where a ladder led from the bottom
floor to the loft. After Billy and I had gotten in-
side the house, and after I realized our dangerous
situation, I told him to go outside or he would
likely be killed ; for he was a brave young man who
110 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
I knew would not desert me. I tried to persuade
him to leave the house, for I realized that if he was
killed, I would be partly responsible for it, having
asked him to come in the house with me, but he re-
fused to go, and said he was in there to stay, and
if I died he would die also.
Just before we entered the house, I placed my
left foot on the bottom round of the ladder leading
into the loft, threw a cartridge into my Winchester,
and shouted to the men above me that I was in
there with them. They asked who I was, and I
told them my name, and stated that we were Texas
rangers and I wanted them to surrender.
Their leader, who went by the name of
"Skeeter," then said to me that they would never
surrender. I told him I had the house surrounded
by my men and there was no chance of escape, but
that if they didn't come out and surrender I would
set fire to the house and fire them out like rats;
while if they surrendered they would not be hurt.
One of the men then told me he would give up, and
"Skeeter" said to him, "If you surrender, I'll kill
"If that man wants to surrender," I said, "and
you kill him, I will burn you at the stake." Of
course this was a bluff, as far as the burning part
was concerned, but I was determined if this man
wanted to surrender he should not be hurt.
"I am coming," said the man who offered to sur-
"Be quiet while I talk to you," I replied. "Let
me see your hands up to your elbows before I see
your body, or you are a dead man. Don't attempt
to deceive me and try to take advantage of me, for
Twelve Years in the Saddle. Ill
I have the advantage of you. I have a cartridge
in my Winchester, my finger on the trigger, and my
hammer gone after fire."
"Here I come/' he said.
"Let me see your hands up to your elbows first/'
He did so, and I arrested him, and also arrested
the other men in the same manner, and turned
them over, one by one, to Billy McCauley as I ar-
rested them. When I had finished, we went out-
side the house to the spot where I left Doc Neeley,
about two hundred and fifty yards away, with the
other prisoner. I took the handcuffs off this man
and handcuffed the two strongest men together.
My horse, and those of nearly all my men, ran
away during the fight. I had a pair of handcuffs
and a pair of shackles in my saddle packets. I had
one of the rangers go after the horses, and he found
them nearly four miles away from where we were,
in the corner of a barbed wire fence. When he re-
turned, we hitched the prisoners' horses to a little
wagon and took the prisoners to Bellview, and that
night we put them on the train and took them to
Wichita Falls. Besides the men, we also captured
six Winchesters, four sixshooters, eight belts, one
thousand rounds of cartridges, twenty-five Cali-
fornia blankets, and a new saddle and bridle they
had stolen from a man by the name of McDermott.
The man who owned the house in which we cap-
tured the men, asked Cooper Wright, the sheriff of
Clay County, if he could not recover damages from
the State on account of his house being shot and
torn up; but the sheriff advised him to keep quiet,
stating that if I heard he was talking of making a
11? Twelve Years in the Saddle.
complaint against me, I would arrest him for allow-
ing such characters to stay in his house, and he took
The four men, whom we captured, belonged to
Bill Cook's party of six. The other two men, Bill
Cook and Jim Turner, at the time of the capture of
the four men mentioned above, had left the camp
before we arrived, in order to locate a place where
they could hold up the Fort Worth & Denver train,
and also the Rock Island train, on the 17th day of
November, 1895. When I arrested the four men
at the camp, Bill Cook and Jim Turner were on the
way back to camp, having perfected their plans to
hold up the two trains, and were within a half mile
from the camp at the time of the fight, but upon
hearing the snooting they thought it best not to
come to the camp.
The four men whom we captured were tried at
Fort Smith, Arkansas, for the two train robberies
and a postoffice robbery. Charley Turner turned
State's evidence and his case was dismissed, but
the other three men plead guilty and were sent to
Sing Sing for thirty and twenty years each. We
got eight hundred and fifty dollars for their cap-
The noted Train Robber — Sente ice! to prison at Albany, N. Y.
Served five years and died.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 113
The Pursuit of Bill Cook and Jim Turner
Immediately after the trial of the four robbers
whom we captured in Sid Webb's pasture, I got my
men together and started out after Bill Cook and
Jim Turner. I went to Jack County, and while
searching in that part of the country I went to the
home of a Mr. Snyder. Jim Turner's father was
living there at that time, he being Mrs. Snyder's
brother. When my men and I reached the house,
Mr. Snyder, Mr. Turner and another man came to
the door, and I told them to come to where I was,
which they did. I asked them if Bill Cook and Jim
Turner were in the house, and they told me there
was no male person in the house. I told my men,
however, to stay where they were and hold these
three men, and I would search the house.
When I reached the door Mrs. Snyder told me
to leave my Winchester out of doors, but I told her
to please step out of the door, and she did so. I
entered the house, searched one room, but found
no one. When I entered the room where Mrs.
Snyder was, I noticed a large object under the
cover of a bed in that room, and there was a small
part of the brim of a hat visible from under the
edge of the cover. I had my Winchester in my
right hand, and with my left I jerked the cover
back. As I did so, the fellow swore he would fight
every one of us, and used profane language to give
weight to his words. When he made this remark
I cocked my Winchester and placed the end of it
114 Twelve Yeaks in the Saddle.
in his mouth. My men heard this man when he
spoke, and heard the rattle of my Winchester, so
they rushed in. Mrs. Snyder was wiping out a
heavy tin biscuit pan, and when she saw my boys
coming in, and saw the dangerous position of the
man in the bed, she hit me over the head as hard
as she could with this pan, and said to me, "You
came near killing my son." When I collected my
wits and got my hat back on my head, I told my
men to go to my horse and get my handcuffs and
shackles, and that I would handcuff this man and
shackle the old lady, and take them to Jacksboro.
She told me if I would not arrest her she would sit
down and behave herself, and I told her if she
would do so, it would be alright. The three men
then came to the door, and Mr. Turner fell and
asked Mrs. Snyder for the camphor, saying he had
palpitation of the heart. I said to him, "You old
villain, you told me such a lie, I have a good notion
to give you palpitation of the head." He then said
that that man in the bed was Mrs. Snyder's son,
but that he had forgotten about him being in the
house; that he had been to Bowie, gotten drunk,
and they thought my men and I were officers from
Bowie who had come to arrest him. I then re-
leased this man and left, having seen nothing of
Cook and Turner.
On December 22, 1896, I received a letter from
J. H. Harkey, sheriff of Dickens County, stating
that there were two suspicious characters in his
town (Dickens), and from the descriptions he gave
I was confident that they were the two men I
wanted. My men and I went to Childress, ship-
ping our horses, and then rode from there across
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 115
the country to Dickens, one hundred and twenty-
five miles away. When we arrived at Dickens,
Sheriff Jeff Harkey again described the two men
to me, and I was still more confident that they
were the two men I was after. The sheriff said
they had left Dickens and had gone to Scurry
County. He consented to go to Scurry County
with us, which was one hundred and twenty-five
miles from Dickens. After we arrived in Scurry
County we went to Mitchell's ranch — the Square
and Compass, by name — which was about fifty
miles southwest of Snyder, Scurry County. Here
we received information from John and Jim Mitch-
ell in regard to Bill Cook, alias Mayfield, and Jim
Turner, and they told us the two men had been at
their ranch, but that they had gone to Green
IgokTs ranch, one hundred miles from there.
I had sent back all but two of my men at Dick-
ens, keeping Billy McCauley and Vernon Resser.
Deputy Sheriff Ira Gooch joined me at Snyder,
Scurry County. Norman Rogers, the sheriff of
Kent County, also joined me. Sheriff Harkey left
me eight miles from Gail, Borden County; his horse
When I started to Green IgokTs ranch, I had
with me only three men, Sheriff Rogers, Deputy
Ira Cooch and Vernon Resser, Billy McCauley be-
ing forced to stop at Pete Scroggin's ranch, his
horse having given out. When we reached
IgokTs ranch we hitched our horses and started to
the house, where we saw Igold standing in the
door and five men standing at the window. I told
my men to keep an eye on the parties at the win-
dow while I had a talk with Igold. When I
116 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
started toward Igold he said that I must leave
my Winchester out of doors. I told him to get
out of the door, which he did, and I entered the
house. I asked him if those were his men stand-
ing at the window, and he replied that they were.
I then asked him if Jim Dillard was there, and he
said he was. I told Dillard to step out of the
crowd, which he did, and I arrested him, as he was
wanted at Colorado City for " shooting up the
town." He and Joe Elkins and Jim Turner had
been arrested by a deputy sheriff at Colorado City,
but they had escaped.
I learned from Igold and his men that Cook
and Turner had been there, but had left several
days before. I took Jim Dillard and started back
to Pete Scroggin's ranch, where we were to spend
the night. On the way there I met Joe Elkins,
who was with some cowboys driving a bunch of
cattle. I arrested him, also, and took him with
me to Scroggin's.
The next morning I told these two men if they
would tell me where Bill Cook and Jim Turner
went when they left Igold' s ranch, and their
plans, that I would release them. They accepted
this proposition, and told me that Cook went to
Roswell, New Mexico, and Turner went to Colo-
rado City to meet his sweetheart, Zettie Sweezer,
where they were to be married; that Bill Cook's
sweetheart and his sister were to join him at Ros-
well, and that Turner was captured in Colorado
City, but made his escape. The young lady after-
ward located him, and they were married in Big
Springs, and went to Roswell. They lived there
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 11?
three months, when Turner was arrested and jailed
at Fort Smith, Arkansas.
When I was at Mitchell's ranch, as stated, I
learned that there was a letter in the postoffice at
Grassland, Texas, in care of the Square and Com-
pass ranch, for Jim Turner. My men and I were
almost broken down, so I got John Mitchell to get
the letter for me, of which the following is a copy :
"Roswell, N. M., Dec. 25, 1894.
''Mr. James Turner,
"Grasslands, Lynn Co., Tex.
"Sir: We received your letter yesterday that
you wrote to San tie. You wanted to know where he
is. He left here last May, and started to the In-
dian Territory. We have some kinfolks there.
We have never heard of him yet. I will close. Mama
said she would write to you, but she is getting very
old, and cannot see. Hope you all have good luck.
It seems like I know you; I have heard San tie
speak of you so much.
^" Yours respectfully,
"Roswell, Chaves Co.,
pi When I captured Bill Cook's four men, as I have
already related, I found on one of them a list of
fourteen men who had participated in four rob-
beries with Bill Cook. One of the names on the
list was Santie Harris. By getting the above let-
ter, I obtained a clew as to Harris' whereabouts,
and it also led me to believe that if Bill Cook was
in Roswell, as I had been informed, he would likely
118 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
be at the Harris home, or, if not there, they could
doubtless tell me where he was.
My men and horse were completely worn out;
so I took them to Colorado City, and sent them by
rail to headquarters at Amarillo. I then went to
Roswell, but to keep from attracting attention, I
went alone to the courthouse, where I spent the
day, having my dinner brought to me, so I would
not be seen during the day. When night came on
I asked the sheriff if he knew a family in Roswell
by the name of Harris, and he answered that he
did. About eight o'clock that night I asked him
to show me their house. He went with me until
we were about seventy yards from the house.
Then he stopped and pointed it out to me, but
would go no further. After telling him to wait for
me at the courthouse, I entered the gate at the
Harris home, and was about to close it when a
man came up, and I asked him if Mrs. Harris lived
there, he replying that she did, as she was an aunt
of his. I asked him to tell her I wished to speak
to her, and, after he had done so, she came to the
door and asked me in, but I told her I preferred to
talk to her at the gate. She then came to where
I was standing and told me she was Mrs. Harris.
I told her my name was Bob Turner, Jim Turner's
brother; that Jim had promised to meet me at her
house, and a friend of mine by the name of Will-
iams, or probably May field, had also promised to
meet me there, and if my friend had been to her
house, she had likely learned that the names Will-
iams and Mayfield were his aliases, and she had
probably learned his real name. She replied, say-
ing that my brother Jim had not been there, but
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 119
my friend had been, and that his real name was
Bill Cook; that he had arrived there Thursday
at noon, and left Friday morning before sunrise.
I asked her if he told her to tell me where to meet
him, and she said he didn't mention Bob's name,
but said to tell brother Jim to meet him at a ranch,
the name of which she had forgotten, but it was
just to the right of White Oaks. I then told her
that some of our party had been captured on the
Texas and the Indian Territory line, and also said
I had heard her son, Santie, speak of her daughter
very often. The man I met at the gate and Mrs.
Harris' daughter were in the house, and heard me
make the remark about Santie speaking of his
sister, and they then came to the door and the man
said, "this is Delia, now." I then told her about
seeing her brother, and Mrs. Harris asked me
where I saw Santie. I replied that he joined us
last May, and she then denied his ever being out
of New Mexico, but said he was then about fifty
miles from there, with his father, herding cattle.
The man and the girl standing in the door then
spoke up and said, "Why, mother, you ought to be
ashamed to tell that man that; he is alright," but
she told them to keep quiet. I said I would not
argue about Santie, but I would like for them to
show me the way to White Oaks. I then shook
hands with all of them, and asking them not to
mention having seen me, I started toward the
After I had gotten out of sight, I turned and
went to the courthouse, where I explained to Perry
all that I had learned from Mrs. Harris in regard
to Bill Cook, and told him to get a buggy and a
120 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
pair of the best horses he could find, and we would
go to White Oaks on the following morning and
capture Cook, White Oaks being one hundred
miles from Roswell. I told Perry I had been fol-
lowing Cook so long that I was completely worn
out, and I had to have some sleep that night be-
fore I could go to White Oaks, but that I would be
ready to go with him at daylight.
The next morning I learned that Perry had got-
ten another man and left for White Oaks that night
about midnight. If I had been in my own juris-
diction, I would have gone to White Oaks that
morning alone, but being outside the Sate of Texas,
I had to have the assistance of some New Mexico
officer before I could arrest a man. I therefore
asked ex-sheriff Billy Adkins to go with me to
White Oaks, explaining to him the wa}^ Perry had
treated me, and he said he would be glad to ac-
commodate me, as I had assisted him in Texas sev-
eral times, but that if he did so it would cause trou-
ble between him and Sheriff Perry.
Being unable to get anyone to go with me to
White Oaks, I decided to go to El Paso, thinking
it probable that Perry w T ould not find Cook, and
that he (Cook) would go to El Paso. At Eddy I
learned that a man had been placed in jail there a
short time before ; so I stopped over, thinking, per-
haps, this man was Jim Turner, as I was told he
was heavily armed; but on going to the jail I found
he was not Turner, but was a man whom I had
seen at Thurber, Texas, some time before.
The train having left me, I had to stay in Eddy
until the next morning, and that night the sheriff
and I searched Eddy and another small place a
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 121
mile from there, thinking we might find Jim
Turner, but we failed to do so.
The next evening I left for El Paso. Captain
J. H. Hughes was camped at Ysleta, twenty miles
from El Paso, and I wired him to meet me at the
train and go to El Paso with me, wihch he did.
We made a thorough search, both in El Paso and
across the river — in Old Mexico, but did not find
Cook. That night I heard that Cook had been cap-
tured at White Oaks by Sheriff Perry; but it was'
no surprise to me. I boarded the east-bound
train and went back to Pecos, where I met the
train Cook was on. I found him with Perry, Tom
Love and one McMurray, of Colorado City. Perry
was standing on the platform of the train, and I
went up to him and said, "You have treated me
worse than any honorable officer would treat an-
other." I also told him that was a dirty game he
played on me in Roswell. He did not say a word,
went into the car where Cook was. I followed
him and saw Cook in chains, facing me. I spoke
to him, calling him by his name, and he said,
" Howdy, John L." On my asking him how he
knew me, he replied he had had me described to
him very often. Then he wished to know how I
happened to recognize him, and I told him I had
had his description a long time, but that I believed
I would not have known him if it had not been for
the squint in his left eye.
Perry and his men had walked back to the rear
of the car, and Cook said to me : " Those men have
gone back there to 'make medicine' against you;
for they have all said they intended to beat you
122 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
out of the reward and honor of my capture, which
I think you justly deserve, for you have simply
lived on my trail.' '
"Is your Winchester a .45-. 90?" he then asked.
"Yes," I replied.
"Well, that is my gun, and I suppose you cap-
tured it when you captured my four men. I
bought four of those guns at the same time, one
for myself, one for brother Jim, one for Cherokee
Bill, and one for Jim French, costing me eighteen
dollars at the factory."
"Where were you at the time I captured your
four men?" I asked
"I was about half a mile from you. Jim Turner
and I had been out planning to rob the Fort Worth
& Denver and the Rock Island trains, and were
just returning to camp. Didn't you find a money
sack made of ducking, with a train bellcord worked
in the top like a tobacco sack? We were going to
put the money in that sack when we held up the
"Yes, I found it," I replied, "I have it at my
I then said to Cook, "Bill, you know you are
done for now, and you will never be free again.
Tell me where Jim Turner is."
"Jim left me at the Z-L ranch," he replied, "and
went to Colorado City to meet his girl, and we were
all to get together later on and go to Old Mexico.
This girl's name was Zettie Sweezer. That is all
I know about Jim."
"Why didn't you and Jim help your men when
we captured them, if you were only half a mile
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 123
"Well, we had left our Winchesters at the camp
when we went out to plan for the hold-up, so we
would not attract attention, and had only our pis-
tols with us, and decided it was best not to come
up without anything but our sixshooters. If I
had had my Winchester, I could have easily killed
you eight hundred yards away. We met an old
gentleman and two ladies in a wagon. The ladies
had fainted, and the old gentleman was fanning
them. The man said to us, 'You men are stran-
gers to me, but don't go where you hear that shoot-
ing, for they are having one of the biggest fights I
ever saw; they made my horses run away." Jim
and I afterward scouted around in Jack, Palo
Pinto, Clay and Dickens Counties, keeping on the
move all the time."
W r hen the train arrived in El Paso, I stepped in
the depot to put my Winchester and overcoat
away, and w T hen I came out I saw that Perry and
his men were taking Cook away in a carriage.
After they had gone up the street a short distance,
they opened the window and looked out. I got a
carriage and passed them. They had stopped, and
the reporters were writing down every word Cook
I drove to the Wells-Fargo Express office and
wired to three friends of mine at Kansas City,
Simpson, Stockton and Ed Dodge, who were in
the employ of the Wells-Fargo Express Company,
stating that I was in El Paso; that Bill Cook had
been captured, and explained how the three men
had ruled me out of the reward entirely, and that
I wished to put in my claim for my part of the re-
124 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
ward. I only asked for one-fourth of the reward.
In about an hour I received a telegram stating that
they recognized my claim in full. I have never re-
ceived any part of this reward.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 125
A Miserable Night
On the 11th of January, 1895, I went to Eddy,
New Mexico, in search of Jim Turner, Bill Cook's
right hand man. I happened to be short of money
on that day, so I went to a cheap, but respectable
hotel to get lodging for the night. I met the lady
who ran the house, and asked her if I could get a
good room. She said that all the rooms were
taken, and then asked me if I would not sleep in a
room with Judge Wright. I asked her what kind
of a man he was, and she replied that he was a
"fine gentleman." I then told her that I would
sleep in the room with him.
After engaging the room, I left the hotel and
joined the sheriff in the search for Turner, the
train robber. About twelve o'clock that night I
returned to my room, and went straight to bed.
There was no one in the room, and I soon fell
asleep, for I was considerably fagged out.
I had been asleep about half an hour when a
man entered the room and woke me up with his
racket. I turned over and watched his move-
ments for a while in silence. He lit a lamp, and
when I got a glimpse of his face I decided that he
didn't look much like a lawyer to me. He stag-
gered across the room and sat down on the side of
his bed. Then he pulled out his revolver, and, half
cocking it, threw it over against the wall.
When he got through I asked him what his name
was. He did not tell his name, but replied that he
126 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
was the deputy sheriff from Tongue River. I told
him that he was making an awful play with his six-
shooter, and that even if he was the deputy sheriff
from Tongue River, he had better go a little
slower. I remarked that there were women and
children in the next room, and that they would be
safer if he kept his sixshooter still. He then at-
tempted to enter into conversation with me, but I
told him I was too sleepy to talk any more.
I went back to sleep after he had turned the
light low, but nearly an hour after that I was again
rudely aroused by another man coming noisily into
the room. This time it was the lawyer who had
been recommended to me as a "fine gentleman."
His face was red, and, like the deputy sheriff, he
also threw his feet high when he walked. Getting
his clothes off seemed rather a difficult task to him,
and I thought he would never accomplish it.
When he finally did get undressed, however, he
had an equally hard job getting in his bed. He
and the deputy sheriff slept in the same bed, and
I was frequently disturbed during the night by
them getting up to get a drink of water. About
five o'clock in the morning, the lawyer made one
of his regular dives at his bed, but this time he
went the wrong way and landed on top of me. I
jumped up, and, grabbing him by the collar, I led
him to] his bed and pitched him head first on top
of the deputy sheriff. Then I dressed and went to
a "three-dollar hotel" and paid a dollar for a bed
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 127
My Experiences With a Bearskin Overcoat
When I went up to Eddy, New Mexico, to look
for Jim Turner, I took with me my big bearskin
overcoat, as the weather had turned very cold. My
overcoat was a "scary" looking thing, but I did not
realize it when I first got it, so much as I did later
on, after I had had a number of unusual experi-
ences on its account.
I was wearing the coat one morning while stand-
ing on one of the street corners in Eddy. I had
my mind on something rather important to me
then, and was not thinking about my coat, when
suddenly a horse driven by a man and lady com-
menced shying at me, and backing off as if it
wanted to get as far away from me as possible.
I was not enjoying the thought of anything being
frightened at me, but suddenly remembering my
coat, I got out of sight as quickly as possible. My
movement did no good, however, for the horse kept
up his rearing and pitching until he had turned the
buggy over and damaged it in several places. The
occupants of the buggy, fortunately, were not hurt,
but I regretted the accident, and, feeling that I was
the cause of it, I humbly begged their pardon, and
then walked away, hoping that my coat would not
get me into any more scrapes like this.
After walking several blocks away from the
scene of the first accident, I met a lady carrying a
baby in her arms. Following her was her little
boy of five years, with his large bull dog at his side.
1-8 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
As soon as the dog spied me he made a grab for
my coat. He looked fierce, and I knew it wouldn't
do to let him get the advantage of me; so I drew
my sixshooter and placed the end of it in the
brute's mouth. The woman screamed, and asked
me not to shoot the dog. I did not want to kill
him unless I was forced to, but he struggled so
hard to get to me that I had to keep the pistol in
his mouth and walk backward. I told the woman
if she would call the dog off I could get away with-
out having to hurt it, but she was too excited to
listen to my proposition, and continued to plead
for her dog's life. She said he was her only pro-
tection when her husband was gone, and that he
was a good companion for her little boy. That
might have been true, but she could not see any
further than that, and could not realize that there
was another side to the situation. I told her that
the fact that the dog was valuable did not make it-
impossible for her to take him off me, and let me
go on ; but she did not look it at in that light, and I
had to back down the street until I reached the
courthouse steps before I could get rid of the brute.
A woman and a dog following me down the street
w T as quite an event to me, and all because of my
overcoat. That was satisfactory to me so far as
the lady was concerned, but I w T ould rather not
have a woman and a dog both to deal with at the
same time. It wasn't long after that, however,
until my overcoat caused a lady to run away from
I was in Fort Worth, having just returned from
Thurber, Texas, to which place I had taken fifty
thousand dollars from Dallas, so the miners could
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 129
be paid off. Col. Hunter, the president of the
mines, had requested me to do this, as robberies
had become quite numerous.
It was still very cold, and I had on my bearskin
overcoat. Early one morning, while riding on a
street car, sitting in the corner next to the window,
an old lady came in and sat down by me. She
failed to see me at first, but when she did chance
to look in my direction, she gave a scream that
startled everybody on the car, and before anyone
could reach her, she ran out of the door and jumped
The conductor stopped the car, and asked her
what the trouble was. She replied that she did
not want to ride with a bear. The conductor as-
sured her that I was no bear; that I only had on a
She came back in, and looked cautiously over
her glasses at me, and, giving another unearthly
yell, she quickly fled and left the car again. The
conductor tried to pacify her, and told her that I
was only a Texas ranger wearing a bearskin over-
coat; but she said : "I am satisfied that he is a bear.
John told me when I left Tennessee that I had bet-
ter be careful and watch out, for there were lots of
strange things down in Texas, and you bet Mary
is going to obey John." We went on then, and left
Sister Mary standing by the side of the track still
My overcoat was quite comfortable in cold
weather, but I was getting tired of the trouble
that it was constantly causing me. Still, I had
hopes that it would get me into no more scrapes,
and kept on wearing it that night.
130 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
The next morning I put it on again, and, as I
left the hotel to go down town, I passed a little
girl, who was about nine or ten years old, standing
on the front gallery of her home. Upon seeing me,
she called to her mother, telling her to come quick
and "see Santa Claus."
While that experience was not so embarrassing
as the others, it gave a hint that I was to always
have trouble with my overcoat ; so I made a solemn
vow to sell it as soon as possible, for, on its account,
many visions were haunting my mind. Among
other things, there was the buggy and horse inci-
dent, the bull dog, the little girl and Santa Claus,
and an old lady standing by the track obeying
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 131
A Lively Chase
While generally successful in arresting noted
criminals — although often after a long chase with
a battle at the end of it — sometimes when the man
sought for was almost within my grasp, he eluded
capture. A case of this kind was my pursuit of
two men who had held up a Forth Worth & Den-
ver train four miles west of Childress, Childress
In the latter part of 1894, while on the way from
Amarillo to San Saba to appear in court against
some cattle thieves whom I had arrested in San
Saba County, the train which I was on met, at
Bowie, a train on which was Walter Lyons, a cat-
tle inspector, who asked me to meet him at Cana-
dian City as soon as possible to assist him in arrest-
ing some cattle thieves.
The next morning I heard, while in Fort W r orth,
that a train on the Fort Wrorth & Denver Rail-
road had been held up, but I could get no confirma-
tion of the report. LTpon arriving at San Saba,
however, I found that the report was true. As
soon as my business in court at San Saba was fin-
ished, I hurried to Childress to hunt for the rob-
At Wichita Falls I saw City Marshal Charles
Landers, of Vernon, who had come there on the
same business that I came for, and also Bill Ish,
ex-deputy marshal. They told me that in Vernon,
the previous day, they had seen a stranger, riding
132 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
and driving three horses, one of which was packed,
and they had intended to investigate him, but he
left sometime during the night and they lost his
trail; that they went to Wichita Falls the next
morning, hoping to find him there. They also
told me that they saw him from the car window as
they were coming to Wichita Falls, and he was then
driving only two horses.
When they told me this, I proposed going back
on the next train and riding until we met him, as
he probably would not come to Wichita Falls.
After some discussion, this plan was agreed to.
When we boarded the train the conductor gave me
permission to pull the bell-cord and stop the train
if I saw the man. After going about seven miles
I saw him and stopped the train, and George
Thorn, the conductor, ran the train back as far- as
he could without placing the sleeper in danger if
there should be a fight.
My two men and I then got off and arrested
him. Upon searching him, we found papers show-
ing that he had been arrested at Harrell, and that
he had been arrested for carrying a pistol, and had
paid twenty-two dollars in cash and left the miss-
ing horse as security for the balance of the fine.
He gave his name as Farmer, from Turkey Creek,
Greer County, claiming to be on his way to Denton
County after some horses he had there. I asked
him why he had so many horses with him when he
was going after more of them, and he replied that
he did not want to ride the same one all the time.
All this took some time, and the engineer kept
ringing the bell and blowing the whistle to hurry
us, as the train was late. Although satisfied that
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 133
the prisoner had stolen the horses which he had,
I was without proof, and, not believing him to be
implicated in the train robbery, I released him,
and got back on the train and went to Iowa Park.
Farmer had, apparently, told us a straight story,
but I became suspicious after reaching Iowa Park,
and Bill Ish and I got a buggy and went back and
re-arrested him, searching him carefully, giving
his papers a closer inspection and questioning him
fully as to himself and his movements. He stuck
to his story of going to Denton County after
horses, and, although still suspicious, we were
unable to make anything of him and again re-
leased him, and returned to Iowa Park, where we
spent the night at Scott Butler's hotel.
I desired to be called in the morning in time for
the west-bound local, and, while sitting in the sit-
ting room that morning, a stranger came in. He
seemed to be chilled through, as though he had
spent the night out of doors, and I asked him if he
had camped out. He said no; that he had spent
the night at the section house, a mile or so down
the road. I asked him what he had done with his
"What horse?" he said.
"The one you were riding/' said I.
"That was a pony. I left him at Decatur two
years ago, with Ridley," he replied.
"I am not talking about two years ago;" said I,
"I am talking about the horse you rode to the rail-
"Oh; that horse. I sent him to Greer County."
"What did your partner do with his?" I asked.
"He sent his also," he replied.
134 Twelve Years in" the Saddle.
I asked him if both horses were bays, and he
said, "No; they are both grey."
Upon asking him what he had done with his sad-
dle and bridle, he said he had none ; that he had rid-
den his horse bareback with a hackamore. This
made me more suspicions than ever, and I asked
him what his partner had done with his saddle and
bridle. He said he had sold them to a man at the
cement works, four miles west of Quanah.
In answer to my question, he said his name was.
John D. Hobart and his partner's name was Bill
Hughes, and he had known the latter for eleven
years in Brown County. Further questions
brought out the fact that he had separated from
Hughes near the railroad dam, east of the flour
mill, in Quanah, about three days previously.
"When you left Bill," I asked, "where did you
tell Bill to write to you?"
"I didn't tell him," said he.
"Where did Bill tell you to write him?"
"He didn't tell me."
"Did you shake hands when you parted?"
"Why not? Had you quarreled?"
"No; we were friends."
"What; you had known each other eleven years,
and you had parted without telling each other
where to write and without even shaking hands,
although you had had no quarrel? I will have to
arrest you," I said.
Breakfast was announced about this time, and
Landers, Ish and I, together with the prisoner,
ate breakfast, and afterward boarded the train and
went to Vernon where Hobart was jailed.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 135
From Vernon I wired to Captain J. V. Good, su-
perintendent of the Fort Worth & Denver Rail-
road, to send the engineer and fireman of the train
which was held up near Childress to identify the
They came ; but were unable to swear positively
that he was the robber, as his face was masked at
the time of the hold-up. They said, however, that
his build, clothes and hat corresponded to those of
the robber, as, also, did his voice.
I then took my prisoner to Childress and jailed
him, leaving Ish and Landers at Vernon.
When I arrested Hobart, I told him he was ar-
rested for train robbery. He said that on the even-
ing of the robbery he was digging a cellar for Pat
Leonard, twenty miles south of Childress.
After jailing Hobart at Childress I went to Am-
arillo, telling him I w T ould return in the morning
and take him out to Leonard's to see if his story
as to the cellar could be verified.
On arriving at Childress, the following morning,
I was met by a deputy sheriff, who told me that
Hobart' s story was true, and that he had seen
him dig in the cellar on the day he claimed, and
that it would have been impossible for him to
have reached the scene of the hold-up at the time
it took place. Acting upon this, I had Hobart
released from jail, and gave him five dollars and
a ticket to Iowa Park.
That was the last I ever saw r of Hobart, although
I afterward tried ever}^ way I could think of to find
The robbery for which I had arrested Hobart
was committed within a few miles of Childress, and
136 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
the local officers had not succeeded in arresting the
robber; so when I found, too late, that there was
no truth in the story of either Hobart or the dep-
uty sheriff as to Hobart having been at Pat Leon-
ard's on the day of the robbery, I was compelled
to believe that the deputy sheriff had secured his
release through jealously over the fact that the
robber had been arrested by a ranger after the
county officers had failed.
When I released Hobart at Childress, I took the
train and went to Amarillo, where I had to appear
in court against three cow thieves, a Mr. Swen and
his two sons.
The next morning I went to the postoffice and
found a letter to me from the jailer at Vernon. In-
side of the envelope was another letter written by
John Hobart to his uncle at Monktown, Fannin
County, in which he made a full confession of the
robbery. I succeeded in getting Judge Wallace
and Judge Plemons and District Attorney D. B.
Hill to release me that evening; for I showed them
this letter, and explained to them that I wanted to
The next morning I started to Decatur, and,
upon reaching there, I inquired at the livery sta-
bles to find out if Hobart had hired a horse at any
time, but found that he had not done so. I found,
though, that he had registered at one of the hotels
as John D. Hobart, Honey Grove, Fannin County.
I then boarded the train and went to Honey
Grove. When I reached that place I went to a
merchant, in whom I could confide, and asked
him if he knew anyone in the vicinity of Monk-
town by the name of George Hobart. He stated
Twelve Years ix the Saddle. 137
that he did, and that Monktown was eighteen miles
from there, on the Red River ; that George Hobart
was running a big cotton gin at that place. I asked
him if he knew of anyone at Monktown whom I
could trust, and he told me that Deputy Sheriff
White of that town was a trustworthy man. I
went to Monktown that evening, and the next
morning I hunted up Mr. White and explained the
case to him, and, after describing Hobart to him,
I asked White to go out to George Hobart 7 s and
see if John Hobart was there. I also told him that
if he failed to find him, to tell his uncle, George Ho-
bart, that he had met his nephew three months ago
at Decatur, and had been informed by him that
there was a man there who had some horses and
mules for sale, and that he wanted to know the
name of the man with whom his nephew lived in
Decatur, so that he could find him and get some
information from him in regard to the party who
had the horses and mules to sell. White immedi-
ately went out to George Hobart' s place and saw
him, but failed to find the man whom we wanted.
He returned, however, with the information that
John Hobart lived nine miles from Decatur with a
man by the name of John Ridley.
I went to Fort Worth and wired Sheriff Moore
of Decatur, asking him if he knew a man by the
name of John Ridley in that country, and if he
did to meet me at the depot on the arrival of the
next train from Fort Worth, with horses and sad-
dles for us both. He answered that there were two
brothers, Jim and John Ridley, living nine miles
from Decatur; so when I arrived at that town,
Moore was waiting for me with horses and saddles
138 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
We left at once for Ridley's, and, on the way there,
Moore informed me that he had a friend who lived
between the two Ridley brothers, and that we had
better see his friend first, as we might obtain some
information from him.
We called by and saw this man, who informed
us that he had been at Jim Ridley's the evening
before and at John Ridley's that morning, and
that he had not seen anyone who fitted the descrip-
tion of John Hobart. He said, however, that he
did see such a person in Decatur the Friday be-
fore, with John Ridley and his wife. After we left
this man, I suggested to Moore that I go to Rid-
ley's and spend the night, and tell them I was hunt-
ing land to rent, but he would not agree to that.
We decided to return to Decatur then ; for, as court
was in session at Decatur, Sheriff Moore had to be
The next morning I went to John Ridley's, and,
when I knocked, a lady came to the door and in-
formed me that she was Mrs. Ridley.
"Is your husband here?" I asked.
"No, sir," she replied, "if you came from town,
you met him not far back."
"I did meet a man about two miles back," I
answered, "and I suppose he was your husband."
I then told her I lived on Denton Creek, where
I was feeding two thousand beeves. "I heard in
Decatur," I continued, "that there was a young
man with you and your husband last Friday, and
that he wanted to hire to you, but the party who
told me didn't know whether you hired him or
not, and if you did, he said he didn't think you
needed him, and as I am needing help very badly
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 139
in giving attention to my cattle, I would like to
hire him, if he is here and you do not need him."
'That was John Hobart," she replied, "but you
would not want him on your place as he is such a
"No; I don't want him," I replied, "if he is a
tough character, for I have a wife and four grown
"He is a right tough character," she said.
"But in case I am forced to have him," I said,
"where do you think I could likely find him?"
"I expect you will find him at his grandfather's,
who lives on Emerson's prairie, eighteen miles
from Paris. His grandfather is named Sol Hide-
man. John Hobart has one hundred and fifty
acres of land at his grandfather's, and he is proba-
bly there attending to it."
In the letter which John Hobart wrote to his
uncle, which was sent to me by the jailer at Vernon,
and in which he confessed to the robbery, he stated
to his uncle that he supposed this jail business
would make his "cake all dough" with his girl; so
I asked Mrs. Ridley if he had a girl, and she replied
that he did; that her name was Emma Kitchens,
and that she lived on Emerson's prairie.
After gaining this information, I returned to De-
catur and went to Paris, hired a buggy and team,
and went out to Emerson's store, where I learned
the way to Mr. Hideman's. When I reached
there, I introduced myself to him under another
name, and stated to him that I was renting land
south of Paris, but that I had accumulated enough
money to buy me a home ; that I met his grandson
about three months ago, and he told me he had
140 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
some land in this part of the country, and that I
had come out to see about buying it. The old
gentleman showed me the land, and stated he
would be glad if his grandson would sell it and set-
tle down with his father, near Brownwood.
Returning to Paris, I left at once for Brown-
wood, and upon arriving there, the deputy sheriff
and I went to Mr. Hobart's, twenty miles from
Brownwood. Mrs. Hobart informed me that her
husband was two and a half miles from there,
helping a neighbor kill hogs. When we arrived
at this place, the deputy sheriff introduced me to
someone as Jones, and just then a man stepped up
and said, "Hello, Sullivan/'
I had my mustache and beard blacked, in order
to avoid detection by those who might know me;
but this fellow seemed to recognize me after all.
"You must be mistaken in my name," I said,
"for my name is Jones."
"You used to guard the jail in Mangum, in Greer
County," he replied, "against a mob that wanted
to hang Race Thomas and Jeff Adams for mur-
I told him he was mistaken in my name, and
asked, "where is Mangum?"
"It is fifty-five miles north of Quanah, in Greer
County," he replied.
"What road is Quanah on?" I asked.
"On the Fort Worth & Denver."
"I have never been any further north than Fort
Worth," I replied.
He gave it up, and said he supposed he was mis-
taken. It was now dinner time, and we all went
in and took our places around the table.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 141
Tom Hobart, being a visitor, the host asked him
to return thanks. He did so, and from the length
of the blessing and the way he asked it, I imagined
he was a Methodist. When he had finished, I said,
" Gentlemen, we ought always to be thankful for
the luxuries of life that we receive, but, as a gen-
eral thing, we are not half as thankful as we should
"Are you a member of the church?" asked Ho-
"Yes, sir, I am."
"To what church do you belong?"
"To the Methodist," I replied.
"Give me your hand;" he replied, "I am a Meth-
After dinner I told the old gentleman I had met
his son and he told me about having some land on
Emerson's prairie; that I had gone there and looked
at the land, and was well pleased with it, and had
about decided to quit renting land and buy me a
place, and that I had come to Brown County to
see about buying the land. He suggested that
the deputy sheriff and I get in the buggy and go
with him to the house and examine the papers.
This we did. He got the deeds out of a trunk and
handed them to me. I examined them very care-
fully, one by one. I could not have told whether
they were right or wrong if my life had depended
on it. I told him I couldn't see anything wrong
with them. I asked where I could likely find his
son, and he replied that he didn't know where he
was, but that he would be glad for him to sell the
place and settle down close to him, as he was a very
142 Twelve Tears in the Saddle.
This boy's father, Tom Hobart, was a commis-
sioner and deputy sheriff of Brown County. After
the deputy sheriff and I left the house, he turned
to me and said:
"I have placed myself in a pretty shape by in-
troducing you as Sam Jones to the old gentleman,
for he will undoubtedly find out that this is all a
fake about you buying land, and he will have it
in for me.
"What kind of a man is he; is he a good man?"
"As good a man as ever lived," he replied.
"Suppose we go back and tell him the truth
about the matter, and lay the case before him, and
show him the letter written by his son to the boy's
uncle, in which he confessed to the robbery? Do
you think he would rather aid us in finding the
boy than to have him still run at large, and proba-
bly be killed some day while robbing some bank
or express car; or, if not killed, sent to the peni-
tentiary for life?"
"I believe he would rather help us to find him,"
replied the deputy.
We concluded, therefore, to go back, and I told
him my real name and why I was there. He
turned pale and commenced trembling, and told
me he thought there was something strange about
the affair when I was talking to him about buying
I explained to him what would probably be the
fate of his son if he should run at large, and that
I thought it would be better for him and better for
the boy if his lawlessness should be checked.
The old gentleman agreed with me, and said
that while he had no idea where the boy was at
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 143
that time, he would aid me in every way in lo-
I failed to find young Hobart, although I made
every effort to do so. I have seen the deputy
sheriff of Brown County several times, and he in-
forms me that Tom Hobart has never heard of
his boy from the time I was in Brown County
looking for him.
Later on I caught Hobart' s partner, Bill Hughes,
thirty miles below Quanah; but, John Hobart be-
ing at large, Hughes could not be convicted.
144 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Battle in the Dugout
I left Vernon on the 24th of December, 1896,
with Sheriff Sanders, of Wilbarger County, and Bill
Ish, to hunt for a train robber. We expected to
locate him and another man, Tom Wright, whom
we also wanted, at a dance that was to be given
that night on Beaver Creek, twenty miles below
Vernon. Wright was at the dance, as we had ex-
pected, but he made his escape before we got there.
After leaving the dance we went to an old gen-
tleman's house, about two miles away, to spend
the night, arriving there about half past one in
the morning. We were quite hungry, as we. had
had no dinner or supper, so the lady brought out
come cakes and pies, it being Chirstmas, and set
them before us. They were delicious, and we ate
a whole lot before we were through.
The next morning the family, which consisted
of the man and his wife and their six grown chil-
dren — three sons and three daughters — gathered
together to have prayer. Of course we three men
were there too. The old gentleman read a chapter
of the Bible, and then called on Bill Ish to pray.
Bill balked. He then called on Sheriff Sanders to
pray, but the latter gentleman also failed to re-
spond. I had already made up my mind that if
he called on me, I was going to pray entirely for
Bill and Dick (Sanders) ; but, for some reason, I
was not called upon.
After spending a part of the day in that part of
GEORGE BLACK J. M. BRITTON
Two Ranger Boys of Company B. Britton was at one time
Sergeant of the Company.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 145
the country, we returned to Vernon, where I
learned that there was a telegram for me at the
depot. The message was from Taylor Holt, the
book-keeper at Wagoner's store, and stated that
four men had come to the store and beat one of
the clerks nearly to death, and that they needed
my assistance. I took Jack Harrell, a daring
ranger, and we caught the train at once for Wag-
When we arrived at Wagner, Taylor Holt was
at the train to meet us, and took us over to the
store, where he described the four desperadoes.
When he expressed the opinion that the four men
were still in the country, I said that we had better
sleep in the store, as I thought the men would at-
tempt to rob the store that night. There was a
bed in the store, and, as I was tired, not having
slept much in two days and nights, I lay down at
once to go to sleep, after telling Holt to rouse me
if he heard anyone and I was not the first to wake
About ten o'clock someone called at the front
door of the store, and Holt and I awoke about the
same time. Holt answered the call and told the
party he was coming. I buckled on my sixshooter,
picked up my Winchester, and went down the aisle
in the store to where I struck the opening between
two counters. I hid behind a show case and told
Holt that when he got to the door to ask who it
was, and, if he found it was the robbers, for him to
drop flat on the floor behind the door after he
opened it, and, as they stepped in, I would do the
work for them. But when he asked who it was that
146 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
they wanted, the party answered, "I am Alf
Bailey; I was robbed awhile ago by four men/'
We let him in, and Holt introduced us. Bailey
said he was told that I was staying in Wagoner's
store that night, and he had come to ask me to
aid him in finding the robbers. Bailey's store was
four miles south of Wagoner's store, and, instead
of robbing Wagoner's store as we expected they
would, the desperadoes robbed Alf Bailey's store
and the postofTice, which was in the same building,
getting about seven hundred dollars worth of mer-
chandise and all the money and stamps in the post-
Judging from Bailey's description of the men,
I thought I knew one of them. I asked Holt if he
had any horses we could use, and he replied that
all of the horses were out in the pasture. It was
about as cold a night, to be no wind blowing, as I
ever saw in the Panhandle; so I told Bailey that
as we had no horses it would be better for him to
go back home and meet me in the morning with
the trail. Bailey said he thought the four men
went toward the Indian Territory.
I notified all the officers, up and down the line,
of the robbery, so that they would be on the look-
out for the robbers. I also wired the boys at head-
quarters to come down. The next morning Tay-
lor Holt, Alf Bailey, and some others and I started
out over the trail. The ground was frozen so hard
that only one of the four horses made an impres-
sion on it, he weighing about twelve hundred
pounds. After we had traveled some distance we
came to a small house where the four men had
spent the balance of the night. There were signs
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 147
where they had fed the horses, and had cooked,
eaten and slept. We also found a number of fine
quirts between the mattresses, some tobacco, and
about fifty pounds of coffee in a shed-room, which
had been taken from Bailey's store. There was
no one on the place but a big bull dog tied to the
front door, and we had to enter the house through
a window. Finding no one around anywhere,
Taylor Holt and I went to the nearest house to
see if we could get any information about the rob-
bers. When we got to the house Holt went around
to the back door while I knocked on the front door.
I had to knock four or five times before I received
an answer, and it was a lady who finally opened
the door. About the same time I heard Holt
speak to someone in the back yard. I hurried
around there, and arrested a man who was just
coming out of the back door. He was the owner
of the house where the four desperadoes had stayed
the night before. I asked him a few questions in
regard to where he had stayed the night before,
and who had stayed at his house, but I could get
no information from him. I then asked him about
the quirts, tobacco, and coffee at his house, and he
said he knew nothing about them.
I thought it best to hold him for awhile, so Holt
and I took him to the railroad, where we met a
local. We hid our horses, boarded the local, went
to Iowa Park, and met the north-bound passenger
train. We then turned our prisoner over to an
officer — Eugene Logan — with instructions to jail
him at Vernon, and then we quit the train where
we had left our horses. The night was so dark
that we lost our way, and, after riding nearly all
148 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
night, finally found ourselves at the house of a Mr.
Cobbs, the place where I arrested the man the day
before. Mr. Cobbs fed our horses for us, and I
took time to sleep a little, after asking Mr. Cobbs
to let us have breakfast as soon as they could get
it ready, it then being about four o'clock in the
After breakfast Mr. Cobbs told me that the man
I arrested there the day before had taken his
(Cobbs 7 ) hat and left his own new Stetson hat. I
took possession of this new Stetson hat, and found
that it had Mr. Bailey's cost-mark in it.
Holt and I then returned to Wagner, where we
met the men whom we were with the day before.
We also found there Sheriff Moses and Constable
Tom Pickett, from Wichita Falls; Bud Hardin, a
special ranger from Harrell; Dick Sanders, Sheriff
of Wilbarger County; Johnnie Williams, Deputy
Sheriff of Wilbarger County; Charley Landers,
City Marshal of Vernon; Jack Harvell, Bob Mc-
Clure, Billy McCauley, and Lee Queen, rangers,
and Alf Bailey. I wired Sheriff Tittle, of Mangum,
Greer County, fifty-five miles off the railroad, about
My men and I left at once for Wagner's head-
quarters camp on Red River, where I got horses
for the men, and where I received some informa-
tion in regard to the four outlaws.
We traveled on toward the Indian Territory,
and just before crossing Red River I met a man
by the name of Dick Farrell, who was Tom Wag-
ner's line camp rider, and who lived in the Indian
Territory, twenty miles from Red River. I asked
him if there was anyone at the line camp when he
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 149
left, and he replied that there was no one there.
I then asked him if he had seen anyone since he
left the line camp, and he replied that he had seen
two objects, but they were such a long distance off
that he couldn't tell whether they were horses,
cattle or men, and that he couldn't tell whether
they were moving or standing still. He told me
he had plenty to eat, and lots of horse feed at the
camp, but had only one bed.
So we pushed on. About an hour before sun-
down, a big, blue norther blew up, which we had
to face. Just at dusk we came in sight of Dick
FarrelPs camp, which was a dugout, half rock and
half dirt, built in the head of a draw, and there was
a bright light shining out of the mouth of the dug-
out down the draw. Six of my men had fallen be-
hind; so I told the other five that those fellows in
the dugout were either the outlaws or some hun-
ters, and that we had better wait for the other
men. We waited for some time, but they failed
to come, and I told my men we would try it with-
out the others. We started toward the dugout in
a gallop, getting a little faster all the time, and
when we got within seventy-five yards of the dug-
out, the four desperadoes— Joe Beckham, Hill
Loftos, Redbuck, and the kid, Elmore Lewis — ran
out and opened fire on us, killing three horses. I
was making every effort to get my Winchester out
of the scabbard, with all four of the outlaws shoot-
ing at us, but my horse was rearing and plunging
so much to get away from the flare of the guns that
every time I would reach down to pull my gun
out, he would rear, and the horn of my saddle
would knock me away from it; but, after three
150 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
trials, and after getting a rib broken, I succeeded
in getting my gun, when I fell off my horse and
faced the four men. Three of them were in a
trench leading into the dugout, and the fourth,
Redbuck, was standing in the door of the dugout.
I opened fire on them, as they were already shoot-
ing at us, and my first shot struck Redbuck just
over the heart, and he fell backward into the dug-
out. The ball had only struck his breast-plate,
however, and he fainted, but recovered in a few
minutes and again joined in the fight. I found
out afterward that we hit him again, shattering
his collar bone and shoulder blade. I also learned
that one of the men in the trench was killed. The
firing was kept up until we had emptied our Win-
chesters and reloaded them. Suddenly I heard a
gunshot behind me, and I turned and discovered
that Johnnie Williams, the deputy sheriff of Wil-
barger County, had come to my assistance. His
horse had been killed in the fight, and Johnnie re-
turned to me at once.
I asked Johnnie if he was hurt, and he replied
that he was not, but added that I had better lie
down on the ground or the desperadoes would kill
me. Out of all the officers Johnnie was the stayer.
We fired several more shots at the three men,
but they went into the dugout and fired at us from
a window. I suggested to Johnnie that we dis-
mount the four men by killing their horses, which
we did, and every time we fired a horse fell. There
were four animals in the pen, but it was so dark we
couldn't see very well, and we afterward found
that we had killed two of Wagner's horses, which
they had stolen, and two of his big freight mules,
Twelve Years m the Saddle. 151
which were used by Farrell. They had stolen two
other horses from an old fellow in the Cheyenne
country, but they had turned them out into the
pasture. Later we captured these two horses and
turned them over to their owner.
I suggested to Johnnie that we crawl across the
draw and get in the corral, behind those dead
horses, and kill the men as they came to the door.
We then started crawling across the draw, keep-
ing as close to the ground as we possibly could,
when the men suddenly began firing on us again.
Just at this time I fell over backward into a gully,
and got fastened so tight that I had to make sev-
eral efforts before I could get out. I was asking
Johnnie all the time if he was hurt, and he crawled
over to the edge of the gully that I was in and said
he was not injured at all. I whispered to Johnnie
that I had to get out of that gully, and if they
killed me when I raised myself out of it, for him to
shoot at the blaze and kill the man who shot me.
I managed to get out of the gully, however, with-
out being shot, and we began crawling again to-
ward the corral, which was then about twenty
steps away, and, if we could get behind the dead
horses, we would only be about fifteen steps from
the door of the dugout. We had gotten on high
ground, when the three men "sky-lighted " us and
opened fire again. Johnnie asked what we had
better do, and I replied that it would not hurt to
"crawfish" a little at that particular time, and we
turned back, when we met three of the other men
whom we left.
We fought the outlaws until eleven o'clock that
night. Every time they saw any of us moving
152 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
anywhere they fired at us, and we fired back at
them. Finally, we got so cold we couldn't pull a
cartridge from our belts, and couldn't work the
lever of our Winchesters, and we had to quit. We
decided to go back that night to Wagner's camp,
which was twenty-five miles away; so we started
out, walking across the country.
We arrived at Wagner's camp the next morn-
ing, and I gave Dick Farrell five dollars to guide
me back across the country to the dugout. All
of my men, except Billy McCauley and Lee Queen,
refused to go back with me ; so with these two men
and Dick Farrell, I left for the dugout in a blind-
ing storm of snow and sleet. When we arrived at
Red River, Dick Farrell decided that he didn't
care to go to the dugout if we went together, for
if the men were still there they would open fire on
us as they did the night before. He suggested
that he go alone, and, if they were there, to tell
them he was the owner of the dugout, and that he
would report to me that night. I concluded to let
him do this. Farrell then went to the dugout, and
my men and I returned to Wagner's ranch. That
evening Farrell returned to the ranch, and stated
that the desperadoes had left the dugout, but he
found Sheriff Tittle, of Greer County, there, with
John Byers and Jim Farris, two of his deputies.
Tittle told Farrell there had been a fight there the
night before, and one man killed, and he asked
Farrell if he knew who had been in the fight. Far-
rell told him it was Sullivan and his officers and
the four outlaws. He then instructed Farrell to
return to Wagner's ranch, and tell me that he and
his men had come to the dugout to investigate the
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 153
matter, and that Joe Beckham, ex-sheriff of Mot-
ley County, had been killed the night before, and
that there had been seven horses killed, and for
me to come there at once, and he would stay until
Farrell returned to me with this information,
and I immediately got a buckboard and a* pair of
mules from Tom Wagner, and, with Alf Bailey,
Billy McCauley and Lee Queen, went to the dug-
out, where I found Sheriff Tittle and his two men.
Before we entered the dugout, where Alf Bailey's
goods were, we had him tell us his cost-mark. We
examined the goods, the cost-mark on them tal-
lied with the cost-mark Bailey had given us before
seeing the goods, and we recovered nearly all of
the merchandise that had been stolen from Bailey.
I put Beckham's body in the buckboard, and
then loaded in seven saddles, three of which we
took off the dead horses, and four which belonged
to the four outlaws. I also put in Alf Bailey's
goods, and then returned to Wagner's station on
the Fort Worth & Denver Railroad. The next
day, Tuesday, we buried Beckham, but the follow-
ing Thursday I received orders from Adjutant
General Mabry to hold an inquest over Beckham's
body, and we had to take the body up and hold
an inquest over it that day. Before burying him
again, however, I took his wife's ring off his finger.
Beckham had a sister living in Altis, and one
night while I was in that town she sent for me to
ask me about her brother. I went to see her and
gave her the ring which I had taken from her
brother's finger. I explained to her the manner
in which her brother had met his death, and, al-
154 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
though terribly grieved, she said she could not hold
me responsible for his sad fate. She said her
brother had once been an honorable man, but had
gradually gotten bad, and kept getting worse, un-
til his untimely and tragic end was inevitable.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 155
An Exciting Experience With Indians
After the battle in the dugout, I returned to
Amarillo, and nine days later I received a message
from the operator at Wagner, and one from Taylor
Holt also, saying that there was a man in Paint
Creek dugout by the name of Redbuck, and that
he was very badly wounded and expected to die,
and that his friends were making arrangements to
carry him further off.
At that time all of my ranger boys were out on
a scouting expedition; so I sent to Vernon for the
deputy marshal, and wired C. Madson, of El Reno,
chief of the marshals, to send me one of his depu-
ties, and he sent me Ed Meyers. I also had Jailer
Shies of Vernon; Tom Pickett, constable of Wich-
ita Falls; Sam Abbott, of Wichita Falls; Charley
Landers, city marshal of Vernon, and Henry Mc-
Cauley, of Wichita Falls.
With these men I went to S. B. Burnett's head-
quarters camp, ten miles from Wichita Falls,
where I succeeded in getting a wagon and a span
of mules, and horses for myself and men, and
plenty of bacon, beef, coffee, flour and horse feed.
We then started out, with Henry McCauley as
teamster. That night we camped at Burnett's
line camp in the Territory. Before we reached
this place, however, we had quite a lively scene.
There were two negroes and an old white man at
the line camp. They saw us when we were sea-
eral hundred yards away, and thought we were
156 Twelve Years ix the Saddle.
outlaws, and the two negroes, one with a six-
shooter and the other with a Winchester, were
trying to get to a thicket about two hundred yards
from the camp. The o*ld white man was standing
on the gallery trying to get the negroes to stay
there, and he finally succeeded, after they had
jumped the fence three or four times. When we
reached the camp, the two negroes, Zip and Jack,
told us they thought we were Foster Crawford's
gang. The white man had taken out a little note-
book before we reached the camp, and had written
in it, "I was killed by outlaws." I told him he
made his will too quick. Zip was scared so badly
that his face was a creamy color, although he was
naturally as black as the ace of spades. I asked
him if he had been powdering his face, as it looked
nearly white, and he replied that he was so badly
frightened that he didn't know whether his face
would ever resume its original color or not. Things
quieted down, and old Zip, being also badly scared,
cooked us a fine supper that night.
As I was not very well acquainted with that sec-
tion of the country, the next morning I concluded
it would be better to have some one to go with us
who was familiar with the country; so I got Jack
to go in front of us, and I told him that whenever
he came near a dugout he must go ahead and see
if everything was all right, and then report to me,
as I did not want to rush myself and the boys into
anything without first knowing a few particulars.
Jack located several dugouts, and came back
and reported each time that there were no strangers
or wounded men in any of them. About eleven
o'clock that day, Jack had gotten careless and had
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 157
fallen behind with the teamster. Ed Meyers and
I were riding in the lead. While looking ahead of
us I saw a little box house about eight hundred
yards away, and a moment later I beheld three
people running out of it, two at the back of the
house and one in the front. I motioned to the
men to come on; and Jack ran his horse up beside
me, and I asked him who lived in the house. He
replied that a family of white people lived there.
We ran our horses toward the house, and, after we
had run about five hundred yards, Jack said he
saw a buggy leave the house ; but as neither Meyers
nor I had seen this buggy, we rode straight for the
house, while Jack kept leaning to the left, away
from the house. Meyers and I ran up to the back
of the house, and there we found a buggy, but there
was no team hitched to it. I remarked to Meyers,
"Look where Jack is; he sees something," and we
ran our horses toward Jack. After we had gone
about five hundred yards we discovered this buggy
coming around a hill, and they were riding around
to get on our left; so I told Meyers to kill their
horses, as he was riding next to them and my Win-
chester was a long one and hard to handle on horse-
back. After Meyers fired, they began firing on us,
and I told him to quit shooting and wait until they
started down a string of wire fence, and we would
then follow them. "When we get close enough to
them, I will get off my horse and tear the back out
of the buggy," I said. Just as I was about to dis-
mount Jack threw his hat in the air and yelled
"Comanches!" We then saw an Indian, whose
name I afterward learned was "Crowmore," come
out of Oak Creek, riding a Paint pony, and he fired
158 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
two shots at us with his Winchester, yelling
"sheepshier," meaning "hurry up." About this
time we discovered that the people in the buggy
whom we were after were Indians, three of whom
were Crowmore' s wife, and papoose, and his broth-
re-in-law. Crowmore and the other three Indians
in the buggy then went down to their camp.
Jailer Shies proposed going to the camp and ex-
plaining things, as he was acquainted with Crow-
more, but I advised him to stay away, as Crowmore
would not know him from any other officer if he
saw him riding up to his camp, and, as he was on
the warpath, he might shoot him. Shies insisted,
however, and I told him if he would go that he had
better go alone; for, if several of us went, Crow-
more would likely fire on us before we could get
Shies decided to go alone, and after he had been
gone some time I began to feel uneasy about him;
so I took Sam Abbott, Ed Meyers and Jack and
went down to the camp to see what the trouble
was. I found no one there, but while searching for
Shies, I found a rope stretched in the yard loaded
with what I took to be beef. I dismounted and
ate a big lot of Crowmore's nice beef, and then got
my men and went back to the little house which
we had left sometime before. There I found the
other members of my party, and they were just
getting ready for dinner.
I told them that I had eaten so much good beef
that I was not hungry and did not want any din-
" Where did you get the beef?" the lady of the
house asked me.
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 159
"Down at Crowmore's camp/' I replied.
"That beef you ate down there was an old horse
that died a few day ago, and they 'jerked' him
on that rope/' she said.
"Well, he was 'jerked' twice then if they jerked
him, for I 'jerked' him once myself," I answered.
I did not say anything else, but my meat didn't
set very well after that.
About fifteen minutes after I arrived at this
house, and while watching for Shies, I saw forty-
six Indians riding toward the house as fast as their
horses could carry them. When the lady, who
lived at the house where we were, saw them, she
said that they were on the warpath; for she had
lived in that section of the country fifteen years
and knew their ways. The Indians came within
five hundred yards of where we were, and, with
their horses, formed a figure eight. Jack said that
was a sign that they were going to fight us, and
when they made three such figures it meant they
were coming. They went back a short distance,
and then came toward us and made another figure
eight, leaving them one more to make before they
charged us. I then discovered two Indians run-
ning their horses toward the hay stacks, back of the
house. I saw at once that if they reached the hay
stacks, they would have the advantage of us; so I
sent Charley Landers and Sam Abbott to head
them off, and, after a quick chase, they beat the
Indians to the stacks, and the Indians returned
and joined the others, who were getting ready to
make the third figure eight.
This lady, whom I have spoken of several times,
informed me that she could speak the Indian Ian-
160 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
guage as well as they could, and offered to go to
the Indians and deliver any message I might wish
to send them. I accepted her proposition, and
asked her to tell them that we were Texas rangers
and we had a deputy marshal from El Reno with
us; that we had come to this house to look for a
wounded man by the name of Redbuck; that we
heard they were going to take him away in a buggy ;
that when we saw the buggy leave the house so
hurriedly we concluded the man we wanted was
in the buggy, and consequently had tried to kill
the horses which were hitched to the buggy, not
knowing we were after Crowmore's people.
After I explained to the lady what to tell the
Indians, she started toward them, swinging her
blue bonnet in the air to let them know she wished
to speak to them. She explained the situation to
them, but they told her we had deceived her, and
also told her they knew we were outlaws, as they
had been informed at Fort Sill that the country
was full of them, and that there had been a fight
about twenty-five miles below there a few nights
back, and they were satisfied we had come to kill
She returned and reported what they had told
her. I then asked her to go to them and state to
them that Tom Pickett, constable from Wichita
Falls, was with our men, and that they ought to
know him, as he had managed their war dances for
them at Wichita Falls, and that he could prove to
them that we were officers.
She did this, and informed us that the Indians
said to send Tom Pickett to them. Tom didn't
seem to be very anxious to make the visit to the
One of Bill Cook's favorite warriors. Today in Sing Sing,
N. Y., serving his thirty years' sentence.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 161
Indians just then, but I told him to lay his Win-
chester down on the ground where they could see
it, and to go to them and try to make a treaty
with them, and that if they killed him, I would kill
every one of them before they could get back to
Fort Sill. Tom concluded to go, and Henry Mc-
Cauley, the teamster, volunteered to go with him.
When they reached the Indians they recognized
Tom at once, and the chief dismounted and took
Tom and Henry by the hands, and seemed to be
very glad to find out that we were not outlaws.
He instructed his warriors to stay where they
were, while he investigated the matter a little more.
He mounted his horse and came toward us at full
speed, and when he arrived within seventy yards
of us, he threw his Winchester across his left wrist.
This was a sign that we were friends, but I didn't
know it at the time, and I came very near shooting
him, but Jack stopped me and explained what was
meant by it.
When he reached us, he dismounted, shook
hands with us all, and then motioned for his men
to come, and they, with Tom and Henry, soon
I cautioned the men not to let the Indians get
to our guns, and not to be too free with them. The
Indians would point to our belts and indicate to
us that they wanted us to give them some cart-
ridges, which we did.
The chief informed me that Crowmore's wife
had gone to Fort Sill, where she would report that
we were outlaws, and that the police and soldiers
would be looking for us in a short while, and we
had better hire two of his men to stay with us the
162 Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle.
balance of that day and that night, in order to as-
sist us in explaining our presence in the country,
and that if I would give him five dollars he would
let me have two of his men. I told him I would
give him two dollars and a half, but he would not
consent to take less than five dollars ; so we agreed
upon that amount. All this conversation was car-
ried on, of course, with the help of the lady who
was with us.
When I first saw that the Indians were con-
vinced that we were not outlaws, I told the lady
to ask them if they had seen anything of a white
man; for I was uneasy about Shies, not having
seen him since he went to Crowmore's camp; but
the Indians replied that they had not seen anyone
at all. A few minutes later Shies rode up, and
said that he had just been riding around the coun-
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 163
The Arrest of Jerome Loftos
While in Vernon helping to hold court in the
trial of Joe Blake, who was alleged to have killed
Sheriff Tom McGee, in Hemphill County, I re-
ceived a warrant from Bowie County for the ar-
rest of Jerome Loftos, who was wanted for stab-
bing a man in New Boston ten years before that.
I did not know that Loftos was in Vernon until
Mrs. Aiken, the proprietress of the hotel, told me
that a man by the name of Jerome Loftos was in
the hotel the night before to see me. I asked Mrs.
Aiken when the man would be back, and she re-
plied, 'Tn a day or two."
I told Mrs. Aiken that I would be glad to see
Jerome, as I had not seen him but once, and that
was a few days after the fight which I had had
with his brother, Hill Loftos, in the dugout in the
Comanche Strip. I began watching for Loftos,
and the second morning after the lady told me that
he was in town, I went into the gentlemen's sitting-
room and found him standing by the stove. I did
not recognize him, however, until after he had
spoken to me and told me his name.
When he told me that he was Jerome Loftos, I
merely asked him if he had eaten his breakfast,
and he replied that he had not.
The first table was full, so I told him that we
would watch our chance and eat at the next table.
When we went to the table I let him sit on my
right side, and I made it a point to get through
164 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
eating before he did. Leaving the table after
breakfast, we went into the gentlemen's sitting-
room, where I found about twenty-five men stand-
ing around. I did not want to arrest Loftos in the
presence of these people, and, noticing that the
stove in the ladies' sitting-room was heated up, I
said to Loftos, "Let's go in yonder where there is
a good fire."
After we got in the/oom I told Loftos that I had
a warrant for him.
11 Where from?" he asked.
"From New Boston," I replied.
I searched him then, but found nothing but a
pocket knife. I told him that I did not want to
handcuff him, nor put him in jail; that for his sake
I didn't want people to know that he was under
I then notified the sheriff of New Boston that I
had his man, but it was three days before he came
to Vernon after him. I never jailed Loftos,
though, nor put handcuffs on him, but I kept him
in my sight all the time. I told Loftos to go with
me when I took Joe Blake to the trial, and for him
to sit near Blake, the defendant, so I could watch
both of them at the same time.
When the sheriff came after him, I told him
that Loftos had behaved well, and that he deserved
the good treatment which he had received at my
hands. I told the sheriff that I would appreciate
it if he would also treat him as courteously as the
circumstances justified, as Loftos had been a good
citizen ever since he stabbed the man ten years be-
fore, and that he had been a good prisoner.
Just as the train was pulling in Loftos asked me
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 165
to let him speak to me. We walked a few steps
away from the sheriff, and I told him that I was
ready to listen to him.
He asked me if I knew what he thought of me,
and I told him that I did not.
"I think you have been giving me dirt ever since
you arrested me/' he replied.
I immediately turned Loftos over to the sheriff,
telling the latter that he had better handcuff and
shackle him securely, as I had learned that I was
greatly deceived in the prisoner, when I recom-
mended, him so highly a few minutes before. I
told Loftos that I was mighty glad he let me know
what he thought of me before it was too late for me
to do him any service. The sheriff did as I told
him, and securely shackled and handcuffed Loftos,
much to the latter's displeasure.
Loftos stood his trial in New Boston and came
clear. A year later I met him on a Fort Worth &
Denver train, while I was going to Fort Worth. I
was talking to a lady, when Loftos came through
the car and greeted me, and told me that he wanted
to see me in the smoker. I told him "alright."
He then turned and went back into the smoker.
u Who is that gentleman?" the lady asked.
I told her that he was Jerome Loftos, and that
I had once arrested him in Vernon. I also told
her what Loftos said to me when the train rolled
into Quanah, and, I added, that he might want to
call my hand for telling the sheriff to handcuff and
"You ought not to go into the smoker if you
think there will be trouble," she replied.
Ltold her that I would go anyway, but when*!
166 Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle.
entered the smoking car, Loftos got up and intro-
duced me to four or five men and treated me as
cordially as he knew how. He motioned me to a
vacant seat, and later on apologized to me for what
he had said to me before he boarded the train in
Quanah. "You treated me so nice when you had
me in your charge/' he said, "that I have been
sorry ever since then that I told you that you had
been giving me dirt; for I knew at the time that
you had not."
"What prompted vou to make such a remark,
then?" I asked.
"I was mad at the world in general," he replied,
"for I had led a better life ever since I cut the man
in New Boston, and had worked hard on the
ranches, and had saved my earnings and accu-
mulated a little bunch of cattle. I had gotten a
little start in life, and felt happy; but when you
arrested me I realized that it was 'all up ' with me
then, and knew I would have to spend everything
I had to come clear. I was reckless, and never
thought about what I said to you, but I am
ashamed of it now, and hope you will forgive me
and forget that incident."
I told him that I had already forgiven him, and
we were good friends ever after.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 167
The Capture and Trial of Swin
In 1896 the citizens around Amarillo were con-
stantly losing their fat cattle, and could not locate
the cause, and I was informed by John Curry, who
lived in the north edge of town, that he suspected
old man Crump and his two sons, Albert and Bill,
who lived two miles north of town, who were run-
ning a butcher shop in Amarillo. Albert Crump
lived in town, and did the selling of the beef.
After learning all this from John Curry, I decided
to lie around Crump's place, and try to catch him
and his two boys in case they were stealing cattle.
I watched the old man's place for quite awhile.
One evening Sam Dunn and Hank Siders (both
cattle inspectors) and I waylaid Crump's pasture,
and a little before dark we heard a gunshot at his
slaughter house. We waited about half an hour,
in order to give him time to get his beef skinned,
but we stayed a little too long. Billy, his son,
about twenty-two years of age, took the beef to
the city and placed it in the butcher shop. I fol-
lowed the hack, and got there in time to stand out
in the dark and see Billy carve the beef. The
quarters of this beef looked to me, from a distance,
to be about a two or three-year-old animal. I
could see them from the light he had in his butcher
shop. I said nothing to Bill; not even letting him
know that I was in town.
Hank and Sam and I went back to old man
Crump's. It must have been about ten o'clock
168 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
at night. I called out at the gate, and learned
that old man Crump had gone to bed. He got up,
however, and came about half way from the house
to the gate, and asked me who I was.
I told him that it was Sullivan.
He told me to wait a minute until he went into
the house to put on his shoes, as he was barefooted.
I waited, although I believed that he was trying to
"make medicine" or work his rabbit foot on me.
When he got to the door I saw his wife slipping out
to the west gate, in a stooped position, making her
way to the slaughter house. I told her to come
back, and not go about the slaughter house. She
obeyed my command.
Then I asked the old man if he' had killed a beef
He said that he had.
I told him that I wanted to see the hide.
He said that it was in the slaughter house.
We three dismounted and went to the slaughter
house, and came very nearly being taken in by the
worst set of dogs I ever saw. He must have had
eight or ten vicious dogs. I think he kept those
dogs on hand to bluff people, so they would not
come anywhere about his place.
When we arrived at the slaughter house, he
pulled a hide out of a barrel of brine and threw it
on the floor, with the hair side up. It being wet,
it rattled as if it were a green hide. This hide
must have been seven or eight days old. It was
so dark in the slaughter house that I could not tell
whether this was a fresh hide or an old one. I
rubbed my hand over the hide and got the scent
of it, and told the boys that the hide was an old
Twelve Yeaks in the Saddle. 169
one. I struck a match, and, as the slaughter house
was open at the top, the wind would blow my
matches out as fast as I could strike them. At
last I told Mrs. Crump to go into the house and
bring me a lamp or a lantern. She remarked that
the wind would blow the lamp or lantern, either
one, out, and that we had better take the hide into
the house ; so I told the old man to take hold of
one end of the hide and Hank the other. When
we got into the house and threw the hide on the
floor, I discovered that it was black, and that it
was an old one with a brand on it,
The old man asked me to let him step out of
doors. I granted him this privilege, knowing that
he was going to the slaughter house. The old man
went directly to the slaughter house, and I went
directly to the same place. When I reached the
place I heard him drop the hide in this barrel of
brine. Then he picked up a zinc tub to put over
the barrel, and, as he did so, I arrested him.
We left at once for town. After turning him
over to Hank and Sam, I went to meet Billy, to
arrest him and to keep him away from his father,
so they could not "make medicine" together.
I arrested Billy, and asked him a few questions
in regard to the killing of this beef. I asked him
if he had a bill of sale for the beef.
He stated that he had.
I asked him the name of the party he got the
beef from, but he said he could not remember the
name, still claiming that he had a bill of sale for the
I talked with him until his father was within
hearing distance of him, and he called out some-
170 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
thing to Billy in German, and I told Billy to turn
his wagon around, and I took him to town and
turned him over to John Bell, telling the latter to
hold Billy until I arrested his brother, Albert, who
was asleep in the butcher shop.
As soon as I arrested Albert he asked where "Pa
and Billy" were. I told him that I had them un-
der arrest, too. "Lord, have mercy," was all he
had to say.
I placed the old gentleman in jail, and took Billy
and Albert to my camp and shackled Billy to one
of the ranger boys and Albert to another one, not
letting either one of them speak to their father, nor
to each other.
The case was called for trial in Amarillo, but the
defense got a change of venue to Clarendon, Don-
ley County, and Billy was convicted, but got a new
trial, and finally beat his case. The old man and
Albert were also acquitted in their trial at Claren-
don. John Veale and Bill Plemmans, two attor-
neys from Amarillo, defended them.
Mrs. Crump had three small children. Judge
Plemmans and Judge Veale were shrewd enough
to borrow three more children who lived in Claren-
don, keeping the six children around Mrs. Crump
all the time the trial was going on. In their
speeches, the attorneys for the defense, would
refer to the old lady and her six small children,
keeping the old lady constantly crying and rub-
bing her hand over the six children's heads. When
she and her six children would cease crying, Judge
Plemmans would step over to the woman and tell
her that if she didn't keep the children and herself
crying that the old man and the two boys would
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 171
go to the pen a as sure as God made little apples."
Once the old lady spoke out loud, and said that she
had already cried so much that she couldn't cry any
more if the whole family went to the pen. This
caused quite a laugh in the court room at the ex-
pense of Messrs. Veale and Plemmans.
172 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
The Capture of Ihart and Sprey
. While at headquarters camp at Amarillo in
1896, I received a letter from Jim Loving, Presi-
dent of the Cattlemen's Association, asking me to
go to San Angelo and out to Big Lake, in Tom
Green County, and look through Major Look and
his brother's pasture for burnt cattle. I went to
San Angelo at once, and hired a wagon and team,
and got Sheriff Shields and Cattle Inspector Moore
to go out to Big Lake with me. I also took two
negroes along, one to drive and cook, and the other
to rustle the horses.
While on my way to Big Lake, which is one hun-
dred and five miles from San Angelo, I drew on my
imagination considerably as to the kind of a lake
I was going to and the scenery around it. I
thought the lake would be full of good, clear water,
and that I would see lots of antelope, deer, wild
cats, coyote and lobo wolves, going there late in
the evening for water. The lake was a mile and a
half long and half a mile wide.
We reached the lake at sunset, and our horses
were very tired and thirsty, and so were we, but
we didn't find a drop of water in that lake, and
had to drive until late in the night before we could
Early the next morning we went to Look's pas-
ture, where we spent the three following days
rounding up the cattle and looking for burnt
brands. We expected to find about a hundred
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 173
burnt cattle, but only found three. We took them
to San Angelo and gave them back to their own-
ers. Then we arrested Major Look and his brother,
and turned them over to the sheriff, and they were
reported to the grand jury.
The day after I had arrested the two Look
brothers, a man walked up to me on the street and
asked me if I was an officer, and I replied that I
"Do you see that man standing on the sidewalk,
about twenty steps from me on my left?" he then
I replied that I did.
"I want you to arrest him," he said.
"What for?" I asked.
"He stole a five-dollar pair of pants from me at
the hotel the other night, and he has them on
now," he answered.
I asked him if he would swear to the pants.
"If I could get to examine them, I would," he
I arrested the man and took him to the rear of
a nearby store, and the man who made the com-
plaint went with us, and after examining the pants
he swore that they were his. I then searched my
prisoner, and found on him a pistol and some let-
ters. Reading one of the letters, which was from
his best girl in the Nation, I gained some valuable
information concerning this man's record. A por-
tion of the letter read this way :
"Pet, you have treated your baby bad by steal-
ing those horses and that saddle. The officers are
hot on your trail, but my people are trying to make
them believe that you are in Kansas and not in
174 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Texas. You have gone to a mighty good place to
get caught, Pet, and you had better get out of that
State or you will be taken in. I am perfectly sur-
prised at you, Pet, for committing that crime, and
I don't see how you could have done it if you loved
I learned that this man was Jack Ihart, a noted
highway robber and horse thief. I turned him
over to the sheriff, and he notified the officers in
the Nation, and they immediately came after him,
as he was very much wanted up there. Carrying
sweethearts' letters got him into a lot of trouble.
The following night a man asked me if I wasn't
Sullivan, the ranger, and I told him that I was.
u My name is Ed Smith. I guess you have heard
of me before," he said. "I am an ex-convict, but
I have something important to tell you."
I told him "all right," and he asked me if I
wanted a man by the name of Hill Loftos.
I told him that I did, and that I wanted him
He asked me if there was a reward out for him,
and I told him that there was.
Then he told me that if I would give him half
the reward he would point Hill Loftos out to me.
I told him that I would do that.
He then told me that Hill Loftos was in the back
end of a saloon gambling. I went to the hotel and
got my handcuffs and put them in my pocket.
Then we went to the saloon which he claimed
Loftos was in. Reaching the front door, I told
Smith to go in and see if Loftos was still playing-
cards. He came back and reported that Loftos
was not in there. We then went to every saloon
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 175
in town, and I sent Smith into all of them to see if
he could find Loftos, but he always reported that
he failed to find him.
Smith then said that Loftos had two aunts liv-
ing near the depot, on the edge of the town, and
that he might have gone to their house to go to
sleep; so we struck out in that direction to find
our man. It occurred to me that Smith might be
leading me into a trap, as the house where the two
old maids lived was surrounded by timber, and
there were no lights in that part of the town; so I
kept a close eye on the man who was helping me
to find Hill Loftos.
After reaching the depot, we inquired at ten or
twelve houses to find out where the two old maid
sisters lived, and were beginning to think that we
would not succeed in locating the house, when we
finally came to a house where the yard was full of
pretty shade trees. The front gate was tied at the
bottom with wire; so we went around to the back
gate and found it, also, tied so it couldn't be
opened. Thinking this place was vacant, we went
across the street and aroused a lady, who told us
that the two old maids lived in the house where
the yard was full of trees, which was the place
where we had tried to open the gate.
I told Ed to go in the house and see if Hill Loftos
was there. "If you see him," I said, "you tell him
that you have won a big piece of money at a gam-
bling dive; that a big game is going on, and that
you are willing to stake him with money, and both
go in together and see if you can't win a hundred
dollars." I told Smith that I would hide at the
corner of the paled fence, and that I would watch
176 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
the gate and when he came out I would join them.
I gave him instructions to stop and roll a cigarette
when he came out, so that I would have plenty of
time to catch up with him.
Smith carried out my instructions to the letter.
When I came out, I caught up with them and said,
" Hello, gentlemen/' Both of them spoke very
cordially to me. It was about one o'clock in the
I remarked that I had started down town to get
a drink of beer, and asked them where the nearest
saloon was. They pointed one out that was about
forty yards in front of us. I invited them to take
a glass of beer with me, and they said they would
"with pleasure/' and we went on toward the sa-
While walking along I let Hill Loftos get a yard
ahead of me, and I eased my sixshooter from the
scabbard, holding on the trigger all the time, so it
would not click when I cocked it.
When I got everything in shape, I stepped up
to his side and threw my sixshooter cocked
in his face, and ordered, " hands up." He at once
threw his left hand above his head, but placed his
right hand over his heart. "Both hands up," I
quickly said, and he immediately put his right
hand up. I then pulled my handcuffs out, and,
giving them to Ed, I told him to put them on
Loftos, which he did. Then I arrested Ed, too,
and asked him his name. He said it was Ed
Smith. I did not want Ed, but did this to keep
Loftos from thinking that Ed had told on him.
Turning to the other man, I asked if he wasn't
Hill Loftos, and he said he was not; that "Jack
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 177
Sprey" was his name. He said he was from Greer
"Have you been passing yourself off as Hill
Loftos?" I asked.
"No; I have not."
I told him that I would hold him, anyway, and
I carried him over and placed him in jail. I told
Ed, in Sprey's presence, that I would guard them
both, but, when daylight came, I turned Ed loose,
of course; but I took the other man to Vernon,
where I learned that he was wanted in the Indian
Territory for horse theft. This man really was not
Hill Loftos, but he told Ed that was his name, be-
cause he knew of Loftos' bad reputation as a
fighter, and he wanted Ed to be afraid of him.
Hill Loftos is the man with whom I had such a
fight in the dugout in the Comanche Strip, twenty-
five miles from; Fort Sill.
178 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
A Prize Fight Prevented
While I was stationed at Amarillo, in 1896, our
entire company, and three other companies, were
ordered by Governor Culberson to go to El Paso,
to keep the Fitzsimmons-Maher fight from being
fought in Texas.
We stayed in El Paso eighteen days to see that
these prize fighters didn't pull off their exhibition
We, also, had to put down the tough element of
the town, as thieves, robbers, pickpockets, and
other classes of criminals were giving a great deal
One night while City Marshal John Sulman and
I were on duty, we arrested twenty-six burglars
and jailed them, one making his escape. John
Sulman is the man who killed John Welsey Hardin
in an El Paso saloon.
One night, while in that saloon where Hardin
was killed, I met John L. Sullivan and Paddy
Ryan, prize fighters. While Sullivan and I were
trying to rake up relationship, I noticed that
Ryan's nose had been broken, and I asked him
what caused it.
"Fourteen years ago," he replied, "Sullivan and
I had a prize fight in Mississippi and he warped
About that time I heard a lot of shooting on the
street. Sullivan, Ryan, and I were in the back of
the building, and about three hundred men, the
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 179
largest portion of whom were full of beer and
whiskey, stood between me and the front door.
When I heard the shooting, I was satisfied that
some of the ranger boys had gotten into trouble
with some tough character, and I decided to go to
the street as quickly as I could and see what was
the matter. I finally pulled through this crowd
of men and reached the door, and when I stepped
out upon the street, I heard three more shots. I
located the direction of the shooting from the flash
of the pistols, and discovered it was a special ranger
trying to arrest an El Paso gambler, and a deputy
sheriff from Greenville, who had fallen out over a
game of cards and had come out upon the street
to settle their trouble. When the two men reached
the street, the ranger told them to be quiet or he
would arrest them. The gambler got mad and
fired at the ranger, and a general shooting scrape
followed. Though each man fired several shots,
no one was hurt.
We arrested the two men who had resisted the
ranger, and took them into the saloon through the
back entrance. Much excitement prevailed among
the men in the saloon, but after placing the two
prisoners in the keeping of other officers, I went out
the back way and walked around the building to
guard the front door, as a crowd of men were try-
ing to break it down and get into the saloon. «M
I had ordered the door shut when the shooting
first occurred, because I did not want anybody
else to get into the building. There were about
four hundred men, all tough characters, standing
in the street with their sixshooters out, shining
like new money. They tried a number of times
180 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
toTmake me let them in, but I held the door shut
against them. I knew that most of them were
robbers and cut-throats, and that if they got into
that crowd of men in the saloon they would spot
out the diamonds and watches and shoot the lights
out, and great slaughter and robbery would come
Gen. W. H. Mabry, our State Adjutant General,
came to me and told me to put my pistol up.
I told him that I could not do it. About that
time Eugene Miller, a special ranger, who was help-
ing me to hold the door, yelled at me to "look out."
I glanced quickly around, and there, standing be-
hind me, was the man who stole Bill Cook away
from me in Roswell, N. M. I could see the handle
of his sixshooter, which he held in his hand behind
Recognizing the man, in a moment, I turned
and asked Miller why he had called me in such an
" Everything is all right now," replied Miller, and
the man left before anything else was said about
In a few minutes, however, Miller asked me if I
knew who that tall man was, who stood at my
back, when he called to me to "look out."
I told him that I did; that it was the man who
stole Bill Cook from me, and with whom I had had
some trouble as the result.
Miller then told me that the man had his pistol
cocked and pointed at my spine, and that when he
called out to me, the man threw his hand and pis-
tol behind him.
It seems that the man was about to take ad-
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 181
vantage of the moment, while confusion reigned,
and murder me from behind, because of his grudge
against me. I told Miller that if I had caught the
man pointing his gun at me, I would have killed
him on the spot.
I can safely say that I saw more tough charac-
ters in El Paso at that time than I ever saw before
in my life, or ever expect to see again. They were
drawn to that town by the prize fight, which was
about to be pulled off there. It took one hundred
and fifty officers to preserve order and prevent the
The fight was pulled off in Old Mexico, about
four hundred miles down the Rio Grande River.
I wanted to go and see the fight, but I was re-
quested by the Adjutant General to remain in El
Paso with eleven rangers and help guard the three
banks, which I did.
182 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
A Bank Robbery
We went to El Paso in November, 1896, with
four companies of rangers to prevent the prize fight
between Fitzsimmons and Maher. After staying
there about eighteen days, I started back to head-
quarters. Two of my men asked me to let them
get off at Bowie for a day, and I consented, after
instructing them to come to Amarillo the next day,
as we would likely have a great deal of work to do.
I continued on my way to Amarillo, and when I
reached Wichita Falls I received a telegram from
C. Madson, the Chief Marshal at El Reno, I. T.,
to come there and surrender to him as I had a
fight in the Comanche Strip. Two of my boys,
Jack Howell and Lee Queen, were on the train
with me, and I told them to get off and go to El
Reno with me. They requested me, however, to
let them go on to headquarters and get some
clothes, and they come on to El Reno on the fol-
lowing day. This was agreeable to me; so I spent
that night in Wichita Falls, and the boys joined
me next day, and we started to El Reno, after wir-
ing to the other two men, who were on the north-
bound train, coming from Bowie, to join me.
When I arrived at Bellview I received a tele-
gram to return to Wichita Falls on the north-bound
train, as Frank Dorsey, the cashier of the bank at
that place, had been killed and four men wounded
by robbers. My two men and I then boarded the
north-bound train, where I found my other two
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 183
men, who had stopped at Bowie. Captain Bill
McDonald also was on the north-bound train.
Mr. J. A. Kemp, the president of the bank that
was robbed at Wichita Falls, was on the south-
bound train, and I told him to return to Wichita
Falls with me, as he was needed at his bank. I
stepped into the office and asked Annanias Moore,
the operator, to wire the operator at Wichita Falls,
to have me six horses and saddles waiting at the
depot when I arrived at Wichita Falls. I asked
George Clark, the conductor on the train, to put
me in Wichita Falls before schedule time; but I
think, from the rate the train ran, we reached
Wichita Falls a little ahead of time.
Mr. Kemp sat down by me, and asked me what
the trouble was. I told him that his bank had
been robbed, his cashier, Frank Dorsey, had been
killed, and four other men had been wounded. He
turned pale, and tears came into his eyes as he
said, " Frank came to me this morning and asked
me to let him resign, as he had a presentiment that
he was going to be killed, but I talked him out of
Three months before Dorsey was killed, I was
called to Wichita Falls to guard the two banks, as
twelve suspicious looking characters had been seen
camping out near town, and the citizens thought
they were bank robbers. I took six rangers with
me, and we guarded the two banks for three days
and nights, We went out one evening to the
place where the men had camped, and found pic-
tures of Bill Cook, Jim French, Frank Baldwin,
Cherokee Bill, and other noted outlaws, thus con-
184 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
firming the suspicions of the citizens who were un-
easy about the banks.
While we were guarding the banks on that oc-
casion, Frank Dorsey came to me several times
and said that he feared that he would be killed,
but I told him there was no danger, as my men
could hold out against any robbers. The suspi-
cious characters left the country after we began
guarding the banks, and the citizens of Wichita
Falls no longer felt uneasy; so we rangers packed
up and went back to Amarillo.
Three months passed away, and everything was
quiet and peaceful in Wichita Falls until the dread-
ful day of the bank robbery, when the cashier,
Frank Dorsey, was killed. The night before the
robbery, Dorsey told his wife that the presenti-
ment that he would be killed by bank robbers
had come back to him stronger than ever. He
said that he would resign his position the next
morning; that he believed that if he didn't, he
would be killed in a short time.
His wife told him that it was all imagination;
that he ought not to give up his work, as he had a
family to support, and the president of the bank
thought so much of him. He was easily persuaded
by those arguments not to resign, and the next
evening his dead body was carried home to a heart-
broken wife, and the president of the bank was on
the train hurrying back to Wichita Falls, mourn-
ing the loss of a fine cashier and valuable friend.
When we arrived at Wichita Falls, my horses
were standing at the depot; but just as I stepped
off the train, twenty or thirty men rushed me into
the depot, telling me that the bank had been rob-
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 185
bed and Frank Dorsey killed by two men, and they
could talk^of nothing else but the reward — two
thousand dollars — which had been offered by the
bankers for the capture of the robbers. I told
them not to talk to me about rewards, but to give
me the descriptions of the two men. They did so,
and we started out after them. Some of the citi-
zens of the town were already out after the two
robbers, but after we had gone a short distance, we
met most of them coming back to town. Some of
them, however, turned and joined us in our pur-
It was related to us that as the two robbers,
whose names I learned to be Elmer Lewis and Fos-
ter Crawford, started out of town, Frank Hogister
killed Lewis' horse, and he rode behind Crawford
until they met a man driving a little dun mare.
They relieved this man of his animal, which Elmer
rode bareback. They soon met two men, who
were plowing in the river bottom, and took their
two large plow horses, releasing the ones they were
riding. These two plow horses were so large,
though, that they didn't last long, and we soon
found where the robbers had tied them in a thicket
and then waded the Wichita River.
Some of the men went a mile below this place
and crossed the river on a bridge, and others waded
the river where the robbers had, but we saw noth-
ing of them that day, although we were satisfied
that they were in some of the thickets in that vicin-
About eight o'clock that night we discovered
them, after they had come out of a thicket, cross-
ing an open space of prairie to another thicket,
186 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
about seven hundred yards away. Captain Mc-
Donald, Billy McCauley, Jack Harvell, Bob Mc-
Clure and Lee Queen entered the north side, and
I the south side, and we all came upon the robbers
about the same time, and demanded their surren-
der. When we found their sixshooters on the
ground, a few minutes later, we discovered they
were cocked, which showed that they came very
near fighting us. They had their Winchesters
hidden at Wichita Falls, but after they robbed the
bank, and were leaving town, the citizens pre-
vented the men from getting them.
We recovered the money they had taken from
the bank — six hundred and seventy-seven dollars
and ten cents — and then went to a house close by
and got supper, after which we returned to Wichita
Falls, arriving there about four o'clock in the morn-
ing. We guarded the jail the remainder of the
night and all the next day, and, as everything
seemed to be perfectly quiet, and as there were
no signs of trouble, we left that evening on the
north-bound train for our headquarters at Am-
When we reached Childress we received a tele-
gram ^stating that two thousand citizens were
breaking into the jail. When we reached Claren-
don we received another telegram stating that
they had hung the robbers.
The citizens of Wichita Falls got twelve hun-
dred dollars of the reward, and the other rangers
and I received the rest — eight hundred dollars.
A few days later I went back to Wichita Falls,
where I met Elmer Lewis' mother. She was stand-
ing at the head of the table, watching me while I
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 187
ate my dinner, and when I had finished, she asked
me to come into her room, as she wanted to talk
with me. After we entered, and she had closed
and thumb-bolted the door, she asked me to take
a rocking chair.
"No, I do not care to sit in a rocker/ 7 1 answered,
"for I had a rib broken not long ago, and it pains
me when I sit in a rocker."
"I have been wanting to see you ever since I
came to Texas," she said, "I am Elmer Lewis'
mother. Where w T ere you at the time Elmer was
"I was at Childress."
"How far is that from here?"
"About one hundred and twenty miles," I re-
plied, "but I was at Clarendon, sixty miles further
up the road, when I received the news that the two
men were hung."
"If you had been here, do you think you could
have prevented the hanging?"
"I think not, as they were two thousand strong."
"Of course, if that was the case, you could not
have prevented it," she replied.
"The jailer has my watch, that my son had,"
she continued, "and I wish you would get it for
"How old are you, Mrs. Lewis?"
"I am thirty-six," she answered.
"You are so young looking that the people here
do not believe you are Elmer Lewis' mother."
"Well, you see I am Scotch-Irish, and you know
we hold our age well."
She asked me again about the watch, and I told
her that if it was her watch she should have it.
188 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
She then asked me to show her the way Lewis and
Crawford went after they robbed the bank, and I
pointed out the way to her, but never took my
eyes off her; for when she bolted the door it made
me somewhat suspicious, and when she asked me
to have a rocking chair, it made me more so; for
she knew that if I sat in a rocker I could not get
to my pistol easily, and I concluded she had not
asked me in her room for any good purpose, as she
kept her hands under her apron all the time. She
then asked me for my address, thinking, probably,
I would lower my head while writing it, but I had
an envelope in my pocket which had my address
written on it; so I took the letter out and handed
her the envelope, watching her all the time. We
talked a while longer, and when I arose to leave, I
walked backward to the door, keeping my eyes on
her while I unlocked it, and then told her good-
I believe it was her intention to kill me, as she
tried every way to get me to take my eyes off her ;
but I was on the lookout.
The watch, which she spoke of, was advertised
in a newspaper, and a man and his wife came from
Oklahoma and identified it, telling the jailer it had
three letters in it, and that they were very dim,
but could be seen upon close inspection, which
proved true. They said the watch had been
stolen from them. It did not belong to Mrs.
Lewis. I received two letters from her, after she
went back to Missouri, in regard to the watch. I
learned from the sheriff of her county that she
was Elmer Lewis' mother, notwithstanding the
fact that she looked so young.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 189
A Call to Hartley
In 1897, while a detachment of us ranger boys
were stationed in Hartley, looking after- crime (as
Hartley, at that time, was a very tough place, full
of thieves and other bad characters, gambling and
all kinds of lawlessness going on day and night),
I was told that a man, in the back end of a saloon
in a private room, was playing cards and putting
up United States stamps in the place of money.
I went into the room and looked on and saw him
lose six dollars and seventy-five cents worth of
stamps. I asked him if he was a postmaster. He
stated that he was. I asked him where he was
from. He said, "From Cold water, Texas. 7 ' I
told him that I guess I would have to arrest him,
as I was satisfied he was not a postmaster, and that
he had stolen those stamps.
After I had arrested him, he then told me that
he was a deputy postmaster, and then I was satis-
fied that J he had robbed that postoffice of these
stamps. I held him in Hartley for a few days, un-
til I could find out from the postmaster of Cold-
water if this man was his deputy. The postmas-
ter answered that he was, and that he had robbed
the office of these stamps, and for me to be sure
and hold; him, and he said this man also had a ne-
gro woman for his wife. I wired the United States
Marshal at Wichita Falls that I was holding this
man for robbing the postoffice at Coldwater. We
had no jail or calaboose in Hartley; so I kept him
190 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
under guard three days and nights. Then I took
him to Amarillo, and placed him in jail for the
nearest marshal to come and get. Before leaving
Hartley I learned that his negro wife was on a visit
in Amarillo; so after reaching Amarillo and plac-
ing him in jail, I thought it a good idea to hunt his
negro wife. There were only six or eight negroes
living in Amarillo. I located the house in which
she was stopping, and found that three men and
three negro women were stopping at this place.
I knocked on the door, and someone inside told me
to come in. I went in and asked, "Which one of
you women is Mrs. Joe Jackson?"
A yellow negro woman answered and said, "I
am Mrs. Joe Jackson."
Then I told her that I had come from Coldwater,
and had met her husband, Mr. Joe Jackson.
"When I left Coldwater," I continued, "your hus-
band told me to hunt you up, saying that he was
very sick at Coldwater."
She said she was very sorry, and that she was
glad I had informed her, and that she would take
the first train for Coldwater. I then told her that
her husband had told me the county they had mar-
ried in. She told me that it was in Burleson
County, Texas. I told her that I liked her hus-
band very much, and that I thought he was a nice
gentleman. She stated that he was very good and
kind to her. I told her that he had told me who
married them in Burleson County, but I had for-
gotten. She said old Squire Blackburn had mar-
ried them. She also stated he had two brothers,
and also had two sisters, and that his father was
dead; that his brothers, sisters, and mother dis-
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 191
liked it so much for him to marry her, that they
left at once for Coldwater, and had been there ever
since they had married. After getting the infor-
mation from her that they were legally married, I
then arrested her and placed her in jail, where I
had placed her husband about one hour and a half
before. When I got the jailer up, about one or
two o' clock in the night, he opened the door, and
she spoke. Her husband recognized her voice
from his cell and asked, "Is that you, Annie?' 7
and she answered, "It is." Then she asked, "Is
that you, Joe?" and he answered that it was.
"This officer has got me arrested," she replied,
"and told me he met you in Cold water, and that
you were very sick, and stated for me to hurry
home, and he got me to make a statement about
us being married, and after making my statement
he arrested me." That gave the State a case, as
it was a violation of the law for a white man and a
negro woman to marry in Texas.
192 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
On the Trail of Train Robbers
While in Amarillo I was notified, in 1899, by the
Adjutant General, that a train was robbed at Ben-
brook, fourteen miles from Fort Worth, on the
T. & P. Railroad. J. V. Goode, superintendent of
the Fort Worth & Denver, had a car sent for our
horse and saddles. After loading the horses and
saddles on, we crawled into the caboose, and the
car was hitched onto the south-bound passenger
train, and we arrived in Fort Worth on schedule
Sheriff Eulis, of Tarrant County, joined us at
Fort Worth, and Superintendent Thorn, of the T.
& P.lRailroad, had our car hitched to an engine
and we left immediately for Weatherford. Every-
thing between Fort Worth and Weatherford was
side-tracked, and, having an open track all the
way, we made a quick run, arriving at our desti-
nation that evening. We unloaded our horses and
saddles, and spent the night in Weatherford.
The following morning we were joined by the
sheriff of Parker County, and all of us started out
together to look for the robbers. At Springtown
the sheriff of Tarrant County had to leave and go
back to Fort Worth.
We searched the whole country around Weather-
ford, finally striking the trail of two men, who were
1 well armed, each having two belts of cartridges, a
Winchester, and sixshooter. One of the men w T as
mounted on an iron grey stallion, while the other
Twelve Years iist the Saddle. 193
was mounted on a black, bald face, stocking leg
We followed the trail of these two men, and
struck the Fort Worth & Denver road at the town
of Sunset. While crossing the country, near Red
River, I lost the trail, but I learned that a Joe
Couch had loaned an iron grey horse to a stranger
about two weeks before the robbery, and had never
seen it since. I looked for Couch, but failed to find
him. I decided that the robbers were playing fox
on us and had turned back; so we dropped back,
too, going to Decatur, and tried there to get all the
information that we could concerning the fugi-
While I was in Decatur, I had occasion to call
up Irby Duncan, in Fort Worth, on a little busi-
ness, and Col. R. D. Hunter, president of the T. &
P. Coal Company, got the other end of the line for
a few minutes, and asked me how I was getting
along with the train robbers.
I told him that I had lost their trail, and it did
not look like I was going to find it again.
He asked me if I had been notified that the Rock
Island had been held up and robbed the night be-
I told him that I had not; so he notified S. B.
Hoovey, superintendent of the Rock Island, that
I was in Decatur with six rangers. I asked Col.
Hunter to have Captain McDonald, who was in
Fort Worth at that time, found and brought to
the phone. McDonald gave me a little more in-
formation about the Rock Island hold-up, and I
quit the trail of the Benbrook robbers at once, and
went to work on this other case.
194 Twelve \ears in the Saddle.
I went to Bridgeport, reaching there in a few
minutes, and found transportation, which Super-
intendent Hoovey had sent me. A little later on
Hoovey came up to Bridgeport from Fort Worth
on the train that was to pull us to Red River.
Hoovey and I discussed the situation at some
Before leaving Bridgeport, I found Joe Couch,
the one who loaned one of the Benbrook robbers
a grey horse. I found him playing cards, and I
took him and his horse with me on the train to Red
Reaching Red River, I learned that the robbers
had boarded the train on the Texas side, and while
the train was crossing the river they relieved the
passengers of all their money and jewelry. Arriv-
ing in the little town of Harrel, on the other side
of the river, we discovered that the officers of that
community had captured the robbers and placed
them in the depot, where they were kept under
guard. We put the prisoners and the officers, who
had them in charge, on our train and took them
to Duncan. The marshal of that town claimed
the men, but they were given over to the Texas
authorities, and we put them in jail in the town of
Montague, in Texas. They were tried twice, and
succeeded in beating their cases. I was on hand
at the trial, and we encountered lots of toughs, who
were in town to intimidate the court and get their
I was satisfied that these men were the same
men who had held up the train at Benbrook, and I
told the others that. I received a letter from Sher-
iff Pat Ware, of Cooke County, that there was an
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 195
iron grey stallion in the livery stable at Gainesville ;
so I went at once to that town and had the sheriff
point the horse out to me. I also asked the sheriff
if he knew the man's whereabouts, and he said he
thought he was across the river in the Indian Ter-
ritory. I learned before I left headquarters camp
a second time, that this grey stallion belonged to
a man at Henrietta.
Pat Ware and I went across the river to look for
this man, who had stolen the grey stallion, and
about seven miles on the other side we learned
that there was a suspicious looking stranger pick-
ing cotton at a certain farm. We went at once to
this place, and, going into the field, we saw a clus-
ter of men, all picking cotton.
I had never seen the man before, but ever since
I had been on his trail the first time, I had had him
described to me so often, that I knew him before
Pat and I had gotten close to him. Pat also knew
the man from the description I had given of him.
He surrendered to us, without any trouble on
our part, and we asked him, in the presence of sev-
eral witnesses all around him, if he was willing to
go across the line without any requisition.
He said that he was ; so we handcuffed him, and,
hiring a horse, we left with him at once for Gaines-
When he neared the river, he remarked that he
believed that he would not cross the line without
a requisition. We told him that we would show
him whether he would cross over or not, as he had
said before fifteen or twenty witnesses that he
would go into Texas with us without requisition.
He then went on to Gainesville with us without any
196 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
further trouble. We gave him a bed in the Gaines-
ville jail that night, and took him the next morn-
ing to Henrietta, where we notified the owner of
the grey horse that he could get his property. Our
prisoner was wanted for selling mortgaged mules,
as well as for stealing this horse.
The Benbrook train robbers, whom we came so
near capturing several times, were finally caught
in Fort Worth by local officers.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 197
The San Saba Mob
In 1896 I was ordered by Governor Culberson
to go to San Saba and put down the mob that had
existed there for sixteen years. Governor Culber-
son sent me because he knew I was well posted
with this mob, for I had been sent there in 1890,
as stated in a preceding chapter, to preserve order
while court was going on. I had also been a wit-
ness in the Campbell case ever since then, and was
familiar with all the leading people on both sides
of the wrangle.
By this time the situation had reached a very
perplexing stage in San Saba. The men of both
factions were very bitter and aggressive. Good
and bad citizens, both, were on either side. In
their continued strife both factions had lost sight
of the lofty ideals (which had probably at first
actuated them), and now allowed their animal
passions to overcome them. The mob people had
originally organized to put down lawlessness,
while the a anti-mobists" had organized to oppose
mobism, because they thought the law should be
allowed to take its own course; but those first
principles had long been forgotten. Lawless peo-
ple had joined both factions, and had introduced
their evil influences among members of each side.
When the mob was first organized it started out
by preventing crime, especially stealing, but now
lawlessness was being encouraged by both sides,
and could not be suppressed by local authorities.
108 Twelve Yeaks in the Saddle.
The bitterness between the two factions had be-
come so great that a number of murders occurred,
and were traced to one or the other side. The
State finally had to step in and put down the strife
by suppressing the mob, as that was the side which
was arrayed against the law. Cattle thieves, mur-
derers and other criminals were also given prompt
attention, irrespective of the faction to which they
When we went to San Saba, I took Dud Barker
from Company B, and Captain J. H. Rogers sent
me two men from his company — -Edgar T. Neal
and Allen Maddox. Barker and I were joined by
the two other rangers, Neal and Maddox, when we
reached Goldthwaite. Sheriff Hudson, of San
Saba also met us at Goldthwaite with a wagon
and team. The three rangers under me went to
San Saba in the wagon, and Sheriff Hudson took
me over in his buggy.
The county furnished me with a wagon, harness,
and a span of mules, and the State furnished me a
cook. We spent three days in the town of San
Saba, and then left for Hannah's Crossing, on the
That was a beautiful place to camp, and that
part of the river was one of the finest fishing spots
in the world. We remained there four months,
and enjoyed our stay, except for the danger we
were in when we first arrived there.
The people of both factions, especially the mob
element, were antagonistic to us when we first went
to San Saba, and our lives were in danger. When
we four boys pitched our tent at Hannah's Cross-
ing, we shook hands with each other and made a
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 199
solemn pledge that we would stay there and do
our duty if we all had to die together. We vowed
that we would arrest anybody of either faction,
whom we caught disobeying the law, and that we
would die working the lever of our guns before we
would give up our prisoners, no matter how many
men we had to fight.
When we pitched our camp, we expected that
we would never have to move it again; for it
seemed to me that we were doomed to die at the
hands of some of the people of the bad element,
who were indignant at our coming to San Saba.
We went about our work quietly, however, and
made friends with everybody we could, and showed
them that we were not after anybody but those
who maliciously violated the law. The better
class of people soon began to treat us kindly, and
we were often invited to take dinner with them.
We always accepted their invitations, and would
eat one day with a member of the mob, and the
next day we would probably dine with some one
of the anti-mob faction. We showed no partial-
ity to either side, and in that way we gained the
respect of the law-abiding citizens of both factions,
and our stay in San Saba was, for the most part,
quite pleasant. With the tough characters, how-
ever, we had some rough times, and I met with
quite a number of thrilling experiences, some of
which I shall relate in following chapters.
Hannah's Crossing was twenty miles from San
Saba, on the San Saba & Brown wood Railroad.
When we went out to it, we were accompanied by
Sheriff Hudson, who stayed at our camp a day or
200 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
two before he went back to town. We located in
Jim Linsey's pasture, which was near the river.
A week before we pitched camp, three men con-
cealed themselves in this pasture one day and as-
sassinated Bill James, a well-known citizen, while
the latter was going after water in his wagon. We
tried to capture the assassins, but they had a
week's start on us; so we gave up, as we had lots
of other work to do, and left it to the county offi-
cials to ferret out the perpetrators of the James
During the trouble between the two factions in
San Saba, a Mr. Turner, an anti-mobist, was killed,
and, it was alleged, that he was murdered by Matt
Ford and Tobe Bridge, two members of the mob.
The trial, which took place at Austin, was sensa-
tional, and created state- wide interest. Ford and
Bridge were defended by Governor Hogg, Judge
James Robertson, and Judge Pendexter, of Aus-
tin, and Attorneys John and Ab Walters, brothers,
of San Saba. They were as good lawyers as the
State afforded. Judge Albert Burleson and W. C.
Linden were the prosecuting attorneys. There
were 369 witnesses. Judge Morris was the district
judge. The two men were at last acquitted, and
went back home to live, and they led a different
life and made good citizens.
The two factions in San Saba finally made peace
with each other and buried the hatchet. The last
time I was with them they were going to church
and visiting each other, and all signs of former
strife and bad feeling had faded away.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 201
A Bad Dog.
I was summoned from San Saba, where I was at
work putting down a mob, to Wellington, Collings-
worth County, to appear against some cattle
thieves. While in Wellington I was presented
with a large dog, which weighed a hundred and
ten or fifteen pounds. He was a hound, and
looked to be very ferocious.
I thought it would be a good idea to take him to
San Saba, pass him off as a fine bloodhound, and
get the people afraid of him, as that would help me
to put down some of the lawlessness that reigned
When I went to Fort Worth, I bought a fine col-
lar and two chains for him. I named my dog
"Bill." I expressed him to Lometa, where he and
I were to take the stage to San Saba.
I put both chains on Bill, to make people think
he was very hard to hold. When we arrived at
Lometa, I chained the dog to the stage. He reared
and surged against the chains furiously, and acted
like he would tear the earth up if he could get loose,
but it was all nothing but pretensions, for the dog
really was no account for anything. When he
reared around, growled, showed his teeth, and
tried to break the chains, he looked as dangerous
as a lion ; and I was glad of it, for I wanted him to
fool the people, and make them think I had a dog
that would tear them up if he was sent after them
when they committed crime. He reminded me' of
202 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
a man who seems anxious to get into a fight, al-
though deathly afraid of the other fellow.
The stage driver was afraid of Bill and would not
go near him.
That night at ten o'clock an old nestor from the
the woods walked up to the stage to get a jug of
syrup that he had sent for that morning. When
Bill got scent of the old man and his two dogs, he
at once got on the warpath and charged around
like a lion. The stage driver said to the man:
"Please do not come any nearer. Sullivan has
his bloodhound on the stage, and he is about to
turn everything over now. If he should break
loose he might kill you and your dogs too. I will
set your jug of syrup down, and when I drive away
you can get it."
This break of Bill's gave him a big reputation as
a ferocious bloodhound to start off with. The
stage driver asked me to give him BilPs record,
and he also wanted to know where I got such a
I did not inform the stage driver that Bill was
a worthless dog; that he had been raised on the
streets of Wellington, but I told him he had been
given to me by a friend of mine who lived in New
York. I told him that Bill had done wonderful
work for the officials at Sing Sing, in running down
the most noted criminals in the United States.
The people in the stage gasped at that, and I
told them that I would use Bill on the criminals in
I felt it my duty to tell the people these tales
about this dog, for the odds were against me in
San Saba, and my life would not be in so much
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 203
danger if the people were afraid of Bill. Besides
that, some people might refrain from committing
crime, for fear this dog would catch them, and
either hurt them or bring them to justice.
I reached San Saba about twelve o'clock that
night, and put up at the hotel. By the next morn-
ing the news had spread all over the country about
me bringing Bill with me, and people flocked in
from every direction to see Bill. They asked me
all kinds of questions about him, and, time and
again, I told them his whole wonderful history.
They asked me to let him chase somebody, but
I told them that he was in San Saba for straight
business, and not for foolishness. "At the proper
time," I said, a he will show his blood ; but the main
reason why I don't let him chase someone for fun,
is that he might kill somebody, and I do not want
to be responsible for anything like that."
They thought that was a good reason, and they
were more afraid of him than ever.
I was detained so long by the people who wanted
to see Bill that I didn't reach my camp until that
afternoon. I kept my dog with me at Hannah's
Crossing, and the people all up and down the river
came to my camp to see him. I kept his fine col-
lar on him, and he looked very vicious as he reared
against the two chains and snapped and snarled at
the visitors and showed his big, sharp teeth.
I cautioned the people not to get too close to
him, telling them that he was not a play-dog. I
also told them not to look too hard at him, for fear
he would break the chains and tear somebody up
before I could get him under control. The people
204 Twelve Years in" the Saddle.
minded me very well, and I never did have any
trouble between them and the dog.
Not a single murder occurred while I had Bill,
and I had no occasion to use him, for which I was
very thankful, as Bill would have proved an abso-
lute failure had I ever unchained him and set
him off after a criminal.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 205
A Good Time Lost
One Sunday morning while we were camping at
Hannah's Crossing, all four of us rangers — Edgar
Neal, Allen Maddox, Dud Barker and I — were in-
vited across the river to participate in a "Hard-
shell Baptist foot- washing."
We accepted the invitation, and enjoyed the
meeting very much. The members of the congre-
gation asked us to stay with them for dinner, as
they were to have a spread on the grounds, and
they desired very much to have us eat with them.
They were to introduce us boys to the young peo-
ple, and we were intending to have a very sociable
afternoon. We had told the people that we would
eat with them, and had made arrangements to
stay all day; but just as the doxology was being
sung, our cook, whom we called Tom, came to the
church in "fool's haste/' lit off his horse at the
church door, and asked a man who was sitting on
a back seat to get us rangers for him.
We went out as soon as the man said that Tom
wanted us. Tom informed us that there were two
men at camp who desired very much to see us, and
for us to go as quickly as possible.
We made a break for our horses, jumped into
our saddles, and made a three-mile run in a few
minutes, believing all the time that when we
reached camp we would hear that someone in the
neighborhood had been killed.
When we arrived at our destination we found
206 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
the two men waiting for us. One of them said he
wanted to speak to me. He took me off where the
others couldn't hear him, and, in whispers, told me
that on the day before, while he was in the cotton
patch, someone had entered his smokehouse and
stolen twelve pounds of bacon. I told him at once
that if it wasn't Sunday I would hang him for
causing us rangers to run our horses nearly to
death, besides missing our dinner and a good time
with the young people, just because he had twelve
pounds of bacon stolen from him. We offered to
go and see about the theft, however, and the next
morning we got our horses and started over to his
place, which was about nine miles from camp.
While riding along the road we got thirsty, so we
stopped in at a house and got a drink of water.
When we entered the yard we saw two ladies in
the hallway of the house sewing on a quilt. When
we asked their permission to get a drink of water,
one of the ladies politely told us to come in and
help ourselves, which we did.
After we had finished drinking, she seated us,
and said she thought she knew where we were go-
" Maybe you do," I said, in a manner that in-
vited her to speak on and tell us what was in her
"I think you are going to see about some bacon
that was stolen last Saturday afternoon," she re-
"Yes, we have started over that way," I said.
"I have no idea," she continued, u that anyone
stole that bacon. The smokehouse door was left
open, and I think the dog went in and dragged a
Twelve Yeaks in the Saddle. 207
few pounds of meat out. The man married a mere
child, and I suppose she left the door open herself,
when she went down to the field to see her hus-
When the old lady got through talking, I spoke
up and asked, u Why didn't the crazy man marry a
woman that was old enough and had sense enough
to keep house for him."
"His wife is my daughter/' she replied, and then
the rangers had the laugh on me.
Conversation between the old lady and me then
ceased for a few minutes, and I thought of the good
time I would have had Sunday, and the trouble I
would have been saved, if those two men had not
ridden nine miles to our camp, and made the cook
ride three more miles and summon all four of us
rangers, and cause us to ride nine miles and back
for nothing the next day; all because a dog had
stolen ten or twelve pounds of bacon.
As we expected, we found no bacon thief, and
went back to camp feeling rather done up, and
wishing to forget the incident as long as we lived.
208 Twelve Years in - the Saddle.
Fording the River
Soon after dark one evening, while we were
camping at Hannah's Crossing, I received a mes-
sage from the postmaster at Indian Creek, in
Brown County, saying that the postoffice at that
place had been robbed. I was urged to go to the
scene of the robbery at once; so we packed one of
the mules and immediately started for Indian
It was very dark, and rain was pouring down in
torrents, but we went on anyway, and tried to find
a place where we could ford the river, as we wanted
to cross it before daylight.
We went up the river about twelve miles, bat
still could find no place where we thought it was
safe to cross. We feared that it was raining so
hard further up the river that we couldn't cross
any better up there than where we were, so we de-
cided to stay at Bill Martin's house, which was
nearby, until daylight.
We went up to Mr. Martin's house and called
him to the door.
He asked me who we were.
I told him that I was Sullivan, and that I had
the Texas rangers with me.
It was raining so hard that it was only with diffi-
culty that we could hear each other talk. Martin
invited us to spend the night in the house with him,
but we told him we couldn't stop unless it was im-
possible for us to ford the river.
W. J. L. SULLIVAN
Marshal of the Day at the Cowboys' Reunion at Seymour— 20,000
Whites and 503 Comanches present. Held four days
and nights, perfect order maintained.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 209
We then asked him if he thought we could make
it safely to the other side.
In reply, he said that if it has rained above as
it has here, the river is bound to be " swimming/ 7
and that he would advise us not to cross the river
tonight. He again invited us to spend the night
in the house with him, but we were so wet that we
decided it wouldn't do for us to go in and sleep in
his beds and get them damp; so I asked Mr. Mar-
tin to let us sleep in his gin-house, since we could
not cross the river, and did not want to go in his
house in our condition.
He assured us that that would be perfectly
agreeable to him ; so we went into the gin, and
each one of us dug a hole in the cotton and slept
in it. The next morning, when we got up, we
found that the heat of the cotton had nearly
Mr. Martin and his wife fixed a good breakfast
for us, and as long as I live I shall never forget
that big dish of fried chicken and that pot of deli-
cious coffee that they had prepared for us.
After breakfast we went to the river to see if it
was very high, and found that it was just about
" swimming." It looked sHly for wise men to
plunge into that river; but we four boys split it
wide open, leading our pack mule, and crossed
safely over to the other side.
We reached Indian Creek that day, and cap-
tured the men who had robbed the postoffice. I
sent them to Brownwood by Barker and Maddox,
and they stood trial for the robbery and beat the
case. Edgar Neal and I remained in that com-
munity several days looking up testimony for the
210 Twelve Yeaks in the Saddle.
Girls Try to Kiss Neal
While looking up testimony in the country
around Indian Creek, a few days after the post-
office robbery, Edgar Neal and I came to a house
where a Mrs. Hogan, a widow, and her four daugh-
ters lived. It was about an hour and a half before
sun-down when we arrived at Mrs. Hogan' s house.
We had learned before reaching this place that the
two men whom we had arrested had stopped there
the night they committed the post office robbery.
Mrs. Hogan said that they left her house that night
at eleven o'clock. She also informed us that the
two men lived directly east of her, and when they
left the house the night of the robbery they climbed
over the fence and went due west, the direction of
the postoffice. The evidence that we had accu-
mulated that day and the things Mrs. Hogan told
us that evening, led us to believe that we had ar-
rested the right parties.
When we first went into her house and seated
ourselves, Mrs. Hogan asked us if we were strangers
in that part of the country. I replied that we
were, and I told her my name. She gave me her
name, and treated me in a cordial manner. I saw
at once that they were well-to-do, cultured people,
and, after introducing myself, I presented Mr. Neal
to Mrs. Hogan.
"Mrs. Hogan," I said, "allow me to introduce
you to Mr. Neal."
"Is it Bedgar Neal?" she asked.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 211
"It is," Edgar answered.
"My dear nephew/' she joyfully exclaimed,
"why didn't you let me know you when you first
came in? I thought I recognized those eyes when
you first stepped in at the door."
She made a dive at Edgar, and grabbed him by
the hand. She looked like she was trying to kiss
him, but he leaned his head out of her reach. Then
she asked him how "Dona and the baby were."
He replied that they were both well.
"You have fleshened up mightily," she said.
I was just about to tell the old lady that she
was mistaken in this man, when she called out to
her four daughters, who were in the next room,
and said, "Come in, girls, Cousin Bedgar is here."
All four of them came hopping and skipping in
at once, and they were as pretty as any girls I ever
saw. I was wishing that they would make some
mistake about me; but they didn't; Edgar got the
benefit of it all.
The lady introduced the girls to him, for fear he
had forgotten some of their names. Then they be-
gan to hanging on him, and trying to kiss him. He
played the same game on them, however, that he
played on the old lady; he ducked his head and
leaned it over to one side.
After they got through hugging each other, Ed-
gar and the four girls sat down together in the mid-
dle of the room.
One of the girls asked Edgar how Dona and the
He replied that they were both well.
"You have fleshened up so we like to have not
212 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
known you/' another girl observed, when she had
a chance to speak.
Now, while all this was going on, my heart was
beating like a mule kicking down hill. I was
frightened. I knew if they discovered their mis-
take and found out this was not " Cousin Bedgar,"
that they would make it hot for us, for the old
lady had a game appearance, and, also, the four
girls ; so I kept asking questions about the robbers,
for fear they would keep talking to Edgar and get
him tangled up and learn that he was fooling them.
Whenever they asked Edgar a difficult question,
I broke into the conversation and asked some im-
portant question about the robbers, thus saving
Edgar from answering their queries.
Finally it got to where I could stand it no longer,
and I said, " Ladies, we will have to be traveling,
as we are on urgent business.' 7
The old lady and all four girls spoke up and said
at once, " Cousin Bedgar, you are not going to
leave us now, are you?" Holding to his arms and
coat, they continued, "Cousin Bedgar, you have
not been here in so long, you cannot leave here
I spoke up and said, "We are forced to go, la-
dies. We will return tomorrow evening and spend
the night," and Edgar said, "Yes we will. I see
you have a piano, and we will sing and play." The
old lady said, "My dear boy, you should not leave
your aunt tonight."
We were both satisfied that we had spent about
all the time we could spare at that place; so,
after telling the family good-bye, we quickly made
for our horses. We laughed a great deal about the
Twelve Years in" the Saddle. 213
joke on Mrs. Hogan, and often wondered how we
came out of it alive. We learned afterward that
they enjoyed the joke very much, and when the
girls first realized that their mother had caused
them to be fooled, they took it good-naturedly, and
in a spirit of fun, they pounded her considerably on
Edgar Neal enjoyed jokes immensely, and was
a good-hearted man. He quit the ranger com-
pany at San Saba and became the sheriff of that
county, making the people a splendid officer dur-
ing the eight years that he served them.
214 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
The Capture of Wax Lee
While I was stationed at San Saba, Tom Grey,
a hardware man of that town, received a letter ad-
dressed to a man with his name. Upon opening
it, he saw that it was written by someone in Paris,
and was meant for another "Tom Grey."
In this letter the Paris man warned his friend
in San Saba that the officers were still looking for
him, and that he had "gone to a mighty good place
to get caught." The letter also revealed the fact
that the man's real name was Wax Lee, and that
"Tom Grey" was his alias.
When Mr. Grey, the merchant, told me about
the letter, I knew at once that the other "Torn
Grey" was badly wanted somewhere; so I went to
the postoffice and waited for someone to call for
Late that evening Mr. Jim Brooks, brother to
Judge Brooks of Austin, came to the postoffice
and called for the letter which was addressed to
Tom Grey. I asked Mr. Brooks if he knew anyone
by the name of Tom Grey. He replied that he
had a man by that name working for him, and that
Grey had a companion with him.
Brooks lived about twelve miles out of town;
so I got a buggy and went out to his place. Brooks
went in the buggy with me, and I sent the three
ranger boys out there on horseback. I hadn't re-
covered from the injuries, which I received while
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 215
chasing Del Dean, and was not able to ride horse-
When we reached the farm Brooks led us to an
old house, where the two men were camping. We
could not get the buggy right up to the house, how-
ever, on account of a slough, which emptied into
the Colorado River, and which lay between us and
the house. This slough was so muddy and boggy
that I could not get the buggy across, as I have
stated before; so I sent the three other rangers
over on their horses, and told them to capture the
men and be very careful in making the arrests.
After the boys had gone I discovered a tent
about forty yards in front of me, and thinking
that the man I wanted might possibly be in it, I
got out of the buggy, and, leaving Brooks to hold
the horses, I walked toward the tent to see what I
could find. Brooks had told me that Lee was dark
complected, and when I had nearly reached the
tent, a man of that description came to the door.
I decided to arrest him, but, when I started toward
him, Jim Brooks called out and told me that the
boys had arrested the men; so I whirled around
and went back to the buggy. When the rangers
got back to the buggy I saw that Brooks was mis-
taken, for the boys had captured only one man,
and he was the companion of the one I was after.
Brooks saw and heard the rangers when they made
the arrest, but took it for granted that they had
captured two men instead of one, and, being thus
mistaken, he informed me wrong.
When I turned and walked away from the tent,
Wax Lee, the man whom I started to arrest, broke
and ran toward the river, crossed the slough, and
216 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
hid in the brush, which was thick all along there.
I saw the man running, and when the rangers
turned their prisoner, a young fellow, over to me,
I told them to go after the other man immediately.
I mounted Brooks and sent him along with
them, as I knew they would have a hard time find-
ing the man, if he hid in the brush, and they would
need all the help they could get.
As I was afraid he would do, the man hid in the
brush, and the boys couldn't find him anywhere.
After searching the brush a little while they gave
it up, and got together to plan what was the best
move to make next. During the conference, Dud
Barker discovered that while he was loping his
horse a few minutes before that, his sixshooter had
worked around too far behind him, and while talk-
ing to the other man he reached around and pulled
his gun in front of his belt to readjust it. None of
the men knew that Wax Lee lay hidden within a
few feet of them while they were wondering where
he had gone to, and Lee could not understand what
the men were saying ; so when he saw them stop, he
thought he had been discovered, but decided to lie
still, thinking that he might be mistaken. When
he saw Dud Barker pull his pistol in front on his
belt, however, he thought that he had surely been
discovered, and imagined that Barker was going
to shoot him, so he called out and asked the rang-
ers not to kill him. He then surrendered to the
boys, who were very much surprised, since they
had not seen him before he crawled out of the
The rangers fired their sixshooters, to let me
know that they had captured their man. When
Twelve Yeaks in the Saddle. 217
I heard the shots, however, I was afraid that they
were having a battle with Lee, but pretty soon
they brought him up, and we took the two pris-
oners to town.
When the boys brought him up to the buggy,
Lee told me that he was satisfied just as soon as he
saw I was after him, that I had his right name. He
then told me that his name was Wax Lee, and that
that was his son whom we captured with him.
When we reached San Saba with the prisoners
we learned that Wax Lee and his son were wanted
in Paris, Texas, and also in the Indian Territory.
We wired the sheriff at Paris, telling him that we
had his prisoners. The two men were charged
with four murders and twenty thefts of horses and
cattle. The sheriff at Paris gave us a hundred
dollars for the capture. A big reward was out for
the men in the Indian Territory, and we tried to
get it, but some slick scoundrel beat us out of it.
818 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
The Cowboys' Reunion
Judge Glascow, of Seymour, notified me, while
I was in Austin in 1897, that I was elected Marshal
of the Day over the Cowboys' Reunion, which was
to be held in his town on the 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th
days of August. Later on Judge Glascow came to
Austin, and I met him at the Avenue Hotel. I
was then attending court, aiding in the trial of the
famous Matt Ford and Tobe Bridge murder case,
which was removed from San Saba to Austin.
Judge Glascow asked me if I had received his
letter, in which he had notified me that I was to
be the Marshal of the Day at the Cowboys' Re-
union in August.
I told him that I had received the letter, and
he asked me if I wasn't going to serve them.
I told them that I would be proud to do so, but
that I would have to see McDonald, my captain.
" Where is Bill?" he asked.
" There he is, just a few steps from you," I an-
Glascow walked up to McDonald and told him
that a committee had elected me to act as Marshal
of the Day over the Cowboys' Reunion at Sey-
mour, and asked him if I could serve them.
McDonald replied that I could not go, as I would
have too much work to do then putting down the
mob which was raging in San Saba County.
"You are over Sullivan as captain," Glascow re-
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 219
plied, "but there are two men at the Capitol over
you, and I shall go to see them."
Glascow then walked up to the Capitol and was
gone about a half hour. When he returned to the
hotel, he tapped me on the shoulder and said,
"Charley Culberson, the Governor of our State,
and W. H. Mabry, the Adjutant General, both
say that you shall act as marshal at the Cowboys 7
I left for Seymour in time to arrive there by the
night of the 2nd of August, and the following
morning I was sworn in as Marshal of the Day.
Twenty thousand white people and five hundred
Comanches were in Seymour for the reunion.
Chief Quanah Parker had charge of the Coman-
ches. I served them four days and nights as an
officer and never jailed a single person. The whole
town was turned loose to the cowboys and other
visitors. There never was better behavior known
in such a large crowd before.
Thirty saloons were open day and night, and
the cowboys drank some and had lots of fun, but
they were as quiet as necessary and respected the
law. On the night of the 5th the Indians gave a
great war dance on the reunion grounds that was
quite an interesting sight to witness. I had to
arrest a man for cutting the rope that was stretched
around the arena in which the Indians danced, but
his wife and mother and two young ladies, who
were with him, all plead so earnestly in his behalf
that I didn't lock him up, but let him go free.
Judge Glascow, ex-sheriff Sam Suttiemeyer of
Baylor County, Quanah Parker and his favorite
220 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
wife, and I had our photographs taken together.
Quanah stole this squaw from another Comanche,
and his men got mad and deserted him and he went
to New Mexico, where they stayed several months.
The Comanche, whose wife was stolen from him,
finally wrote to the Chief and told him if he would
give him eleven hundred dollars he could keep her
and could come back and take charge of his tribe.
Quanah at once paid the money, and again became
the Chief of the Comanches. I found Quanah and
his men to be easily controlled, and they gave me
no trouble whatever.
One night after the reunion had closed for the
day, and while the people were on their way from
the fair grounds to the city, about two thousand
cowboys bunched up together and commenced fir-
ing their sixshooters off in the air. The guns gleamed
in the moonlight, and it looked like the world was
full of lightning bugs. Quanah and several of his
braves rushed up to me on their horses and asked
me what the shooting meant. I told them that it
was a lot of jolly cowboys having a little fun, but
meaning no harm. Quanah and his Comanches
were on the reunion grounds, and I told Quanah
to call his men together and have them form them-
selves in a circle. They did as I had requested, and
all got as close together as possible, and I held them
that way until the cowboys had passed and ceased
their shooting. There was no danger of the cow-
boys making any break at the Indians, but I
thought I had better take that precaution.
I witnessed during that reunion some of the
finest roping and " broncho busting" that I ever
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 221
saw in my life. I have often wished since then
that I could witness another reunion like this, and
be the marshal of the day, and have things move
off as they did at Seymour.
222 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
When I left the ranger service I accepted a
deputyship under Sheriff Pearle of Williamson
County. One day while court was in session at
Georgetown, Judge D. S. Chesser told me that he
had received a ' phone message form Corn Hill, say-
ing that four suspicious characters were camping
about ten miles from that place, and that some of-
ficers should go out and investigate the party. The
man who 'phoned Judge Chesser had been out bee
hunting, and when he walked near the camp, one
of the four men motioned him not to come near
them by waving a towel at him. The hunter be-
came suspicious and 'phoned Judge Chesser. As
all the officers were busy, Judge Chesser asked me
to go out with him to round up the men and find
out what they were doing in that pasture.
I told him that I would go with him, and we left
a little after dark, reaching Corn Hill about eleven
o'clock that night. A Mr. Johnson, the man who
had sent for Judge Chesser, met us there, and,
mounting his horse, went the rest of the way with
About three miles from Corn Hill, Johnson said
that he knew a man down in the corn field who
was very good and brave, and that it would be a
good idea to take him along, as the place where the
men were camped was surrounded by brush, and
that they could easily escape if we didn't take an-
other man along to help us. Though it looked
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 223
rather funny to me, I consented to his getting this
man from the corn field, but our new assistant
seemed very willing to join us, so I had no regrets
about it. He carried a muzzle-loading shotgun,
the lock, stock and barrel of which were all three
Traveling a mile further on, we came to another
house, and Johnson expressed the wish that we get
the man who lived there to join us, so we pressed
him in, too.
About three miles further on we stopped and got
breakfast. We had lots of fried chicken to eat,
and we did full justice to the occasion, as we had
ridden all night and were dreadfully hungry.
Referring to the gentleman who was entertain-
ing us, Judge Chesser, while at the breakfast table,
spoke up and said: "We had better get this man
to go along with us;" so I was now convinced that
the Judge was in favor of plenty of company. The
other two men promptly said that they thought it
a good idea to get him to go along and help us, and
I commenced wondering if all the men's feet were
not getting cold.
We pressed our kind friend into service and left
immediately after breakfast, in order to arrive at
the camp of the suspicious characters by daylight,
so we could find them asleep. We were riding fast,
and the morning star was rising and shining
brighter all the time.
Nearing our destination, we came to another
house, where we found a man and his dogs in the
cotton field, driving out a bunch of cattle that had
broken into his field during the night.
The man, his dogs, and his cows with their bells
224 Twelve Yeaks in the Saddle.
on, were kicking up such a terrible racket that
Judge Chesser decided that we had better press
this man into service also, but we had a hard time
getting him to the fence. When he finally reached
us, however, we told him that we wanted him to
help us arrest a bunch of outlaws who were camped
nearly a mile from his place. He took a chill at
once and said he was sick. He told us, though,
that he had a hired man sleeping out in the yard
on a cot, and that he thought he would go with us.
We woke the man up and told him what we
wanted, and he said he' would go with us alright,
and reaching under his pillow he pulled out a .22-
calibre Smith & Wesson revolver. I asked him
if that was the only gun he had, and he replied
that it was. I handed him my .45 Colt's re-
volver, and loaned my other one to the man
with the whitewashed gun, leaving me with my
Bill Cook Winchester, which was a plenty for me.
I felt perfectly safe with my trusty Winchester,
for I knew it had never gone back on me.
Arriving within two hundred yards of the four
men's camp, we dismounted and tied our horses.
We walked up a little trail, which carried us about
a hundred and fifty yards nearer the camp. Then
we stopped and commenced a discussion as to
what we should do next. The morning star shone
still brighter and brighter. We decided to lie still
until daybreak. We heard a rooster crow in the
camp, and I remarked that they must be movers.
Just as day was peeping upon us, I told them to
keep still, and I would make a sneak of about
thirty steps toward their camp. I gave them in-
structions to come to me, one at a time, as soon as
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 225
they saw me stop, and they did exactly as I had
told them. I made another sneak, and they came
to me again, as they had done before. That put
us within ten or twelve steps of the camp. The
chickens saw us, and not knowing what to make
of us, they did some tall talking with each other,
and I thought they would wake the men up be-
fore they got through. One man did rise up, and,
getting on his knees, he held his Winchester in his
right hand and looked toward the west, but we had
come from the east, and he failed to see us. I was
in front of my men and could see this man when he
got up, but they couldn't, as they were scattered
out behind live oak bushes, and I never spoke to
them about the man handling his Winchester.
"It is about daylight, and we had better be get-
ting up," said the man on the ground to the other
men, but none of the sleepers responded to his call.
In a few moments the man who had spoken these
words, himself, lay down on his stomach, and
pretty soon had gone off into "the sweet by and
I motioned my men to follow me, and in another
minute we had spread all over the camp. Two of
the men were sleeping on the ground, and two in
the wagon, but we captured all four of them with
We learned from them that they were witnesses
in the Owens rape case, which was then being tried
in Georgetown. When they told me that they
were witnesses in that case, and that Col. Makem-
son had them hidden out on the quiet, I asked
Judge Chesser if they had any such names as these
men gave as witnesses, and he replied that they
226 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
did. I then turned them loose, and, knowing that
they were caught up with, they went to town that
day and reported at the courthouse. Col. Makem-
son told me to let his witnesses alone after that.
Twelve Years. in the Saddle. 227
The Hanging of Morrison
On the 25th of October, 1899, I was invited by
Sheriff Williams of Wilbarger County to go to
Vernon and help him hang a preacher, who was
sentenced to be executed on the 27th of that
month for the alleged murder of his wife, whom
he had poisoned with strychnine. I accepted the
invitation, and left at once for Vernon, arriving
there on the morning of the 26th. The sheriff
immediately put me on the death watch, and I
remained on guard until eleven o'clock that night.
The prisoner, Rev. G. E. Morrison, who was sen-
tenced to be hung on the next day, was supposed
to have murdered his wife at their home in Pan-
handle City, and had been brought to Vernon for
trial on a change of venue. Although given the
death penalty, he denied his guilt to the last; but
the evidence was conclusive, and proved beyond
doubt that he had fallen in love with another
woman, and had poisoned his wife to get rid of
Though most people believed him to be guilty,
there was a movement on foot to have Morrison's
sentence commuted to a life term in the peniten-
tiary. A few days before his execution, however,
he and two of his fellow-prisoners attempted to
escape by attacking Mr. Shies, the jailer, and try-
ing to overpower him. While one of the prisoners
had Shies "clinched," Morrison yelled to him to
"kill the jailer." This news reached Governor
228 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Sayers while Morrison's sister and two attorneys
were kneeling at his feet, pleading with him to
commute the prisoner's sentence to life imprison-
ment in the penitentiary. There was a possibility
of Governor Sayers' yielding to their prayer, but
he determined upon the other course after he re-
ceived the message from the sheriff and learned
how ugly Morrison had acted. On the evening of
the 26th the sheriff at Vernon received a telegram
from the Governor saying that he must hang Mor-
rison on the following day.
Morrison listened to the sheriff, as the latter
read to him the Governor's message, and replied
that all had been done that was possible and that
he guessed he would have to take it.
The next morning his sister went to the jail and
wept over him. Later on another lady and a
preacher joined her, and the three knelt together
in prayer. Morrison also prayed until time for
the execution. At twelve o'clock he stood on the
scaffold and made his farewell speech. A few
minutes later his body dropped through the trap-
door and his neck was broken.
Morrison apparently took a fancy to me, and
left me a pair of suspenders and a matchbox for
keepsakes. He also wrote me a letter the night
before his death, which I had requested him to do,
as I wanted it for a souvenir. Following is the
letter as he wrote it:
"Vernon, Texas, Oct. 26, 1899.
"Dear Sir: You have asked me to write some-
thing that you can keep to remember the occasion
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 229
of our meeting. I don't know what to say to you,
but I hope the following may be entirely satisfac-
" First, I believe in a future life, and I believe
that men are punished for the sins of this life, and
are rewarded for the good things.
" Second, I believe in a general judgment, and
all must stand in that day before the bar of God
and be judged. I believe I have the witness of
God's spirit bearing witness with my own spirit,
and believe that, though God allows man's law to
take my life yet he saves me, and of the future I
have no fears whatever.
"Now, good-bye, and may you ever be a cham-
pion of the right and an enemy of the wrong.
"G. E. Morrison."
230 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
During the first part of the summer of 1901 I
was riding the range of the LX and Turkey Track
ranch, on the Canadian River, guarding that place
against a band of cow thieves and horse thieves
and outlaws who were terrorizing the citizens in
that part of the State. On the 8th of July, things
having quieted down considerably on the range, I
went over to a small ranch which I owned further
up the river, to take a little rest.
During the afternoon of that day, while lying
on the bed idly and quietly thinking over my past
life, it suddenly came to my mind that in two more
days I would be fifty years old, as the 10th of July
would be the fiftieth anniversary of my birth.
With that thought I fell into deeper meditation.
I asked myself if I had accomplished anything
good in life, or if I had ever bettered myself or had
done anything to help mankind in general in my
humble way. I smiled when I reflected that I had
always been an honest, law-abiding citizen, so far
as I knew how, and had ever tried to be a faithful
officer ; but another thought came to my mind, and
I smiled no more. It is true, I had always been
careful to do my duty to my State and to society,
but had I not been very negligent of my duty to
Once, in 1872, while attending a religious meet-
ing in the little town of Douglasville, Texas, I was
profoundly impressed with the doctrines of Chris-
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 231
tianity, as they were earnestly expounded by the
able minister of that place. I did not feel, how-
ever, that I had been converted, and was leaving
the church at the close of the services with no idea
of becoming religious, when some of the preachers
and a young lady, who was then Miss Cora Howe,
stopped me and asked me to go up and give my
life to God. I told them that I had not been con-
verted ; that I had not received God's grace. They
talked to me a long time about my soul, and
slapped me on the back so hard that I thought
they were trying to beat religion into me. They
finally left me and went their way, and I went
I still thought that I had not been converted, but
a night or two after that, while riding back home
after the close of one of the meetings which I had
attended, and while deeply meditating on religious
subjects, a happy feeling came over me that I can-
not describe. Some young people were riding just
in front of me, whose gayety and laughter did not
harmonize with the mood that had suddenly taken
possession of my mind; so I held my horse back
until the distance was so increased between them
and me that I was left alone with God.
Not in a church building, with men and women
all around watching me, but there in that lonely
spot, surrounded by Nature, and with God my
only witness, I beheld, even through the darkness
of the night, a great light, and I reached out in an
effort to grasp that brilliant, dazzling thing. I
don't suppose I could have reached it myself, but
because I tried so hard to get the light it came to
me, flooding my mind with spiritual understand-
232 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
ing, and I gave my heart to my Maker. The rest
of the story I do not like to confess. I lived as a
good Christian would for three years ; and, then, as
lots of men do, I began to be careless, and gradu-
ally grew more and more negligent of my duty to
God, and for twenty-five years I left Him almost
entirely out of my life and consideration. In other
respects I had performed my duty and built up a
good character, but I had not given God His due;
and, as I lay on the bed on this July afternoon in
1901, these thoughts troubled my mind and
pricked my conscience. I resolved that in two
more days, on the fiftieth anniversary of my birth,
I would again give my heart to God. In 1872 I
I had seen the light in the darkness ; this time I be-
held and recognized it in its peculiar beauty, even
while the sun was pouring out his own rays of
brilliancy all around me. I resolved to give God
my heart on the 10th of July; and I had a good ex-
cuse for putting it off two days, for I desired, for
sentimental reasons, to commence living right
again exactly on the day of my fiftieth anniver-
sary. It is not wise to unnecessarily put things
off, and, in this instance procrastination proved to
be as great a thief as ever.
On the 10th, the day I was to have reformed and
to have given my life to God, I happened to be very
busy, and failed to comply with the vow I had sol-
emnly made on the 8th, and it was not long before
I had good reason to regret it; for on the 12th, two
days afterward, I met with an accident that came
near costing me my life. I spent the day and night
of the 11th in Dumas, the nearest town, where I
had gone for my mail. On the following day, the
Twelve Yeaks in the Saddle. 233
12th, I went back to the ranch, and in some manner
accidently shot myself through the leg, and came
near bleeding to death before assistance reached
me. While crawling on the ground, with blood
spurting from an ugly wound, I thought of the
resolution I had made four days before to lead a
u Is this God's manner of punishing me for my
negligence? " I asked myself; but I did not believe
it was, and dismissed the thought from my mind.
I feared, however, that my time had come, and I
dreaded to think that I was to die by my own
hand. In my helplessness I looked up to God
and prayed to Him, with all the earnestness of
u 0, God, I know I do not deserve to live, but,
Merciful Father, grant me a few more years on
this earth, so that I can serve you the rest of the
days of my life. If, however, it is Your will that
I die now, I shall accept my fate with resignation
and calmness, realizing that Thou art the All-wise
God and know best what to do with me."
God spared my life, and ever since then I have
tried to live as I thought He would have me to do.
234 Twelve Years isr the Saddle.
I Shoot Myself
During the twelve years that I served the people
of Texas as a State ranger I was exposed to hun-
dreds of bullets and other dangers, but never re-
ceived a serious injury until I shot myself, while
guarding the LX and Turkey Track ranch in the
summer of 1901, which fact I mentioned in the
preceding chapter. After coming out of so many
tight places unharmed, it seems remarkable to me
that it should be left to my own hand to inflict the
wound that crippled me for life.
I returned on the 12th day of July to my ranch,
after spending the previous day and night in Du-
mas, and while passing through the pasture on my
way to my ranch, my attention was attracted by
the barking of a dog, the bawling of the cows, and
the bleating of calves. A certain dog in the neigh-
borhood had a habit of chasing the cattle away
from the water, and, knowing this, I soon guessed
the cause of the confusion and decided to kill the
troublesome little canine. When the dog saw me,
however, he ran away, going as fast as he could up
the hill, with me close behind. I shot at him three
times before he reached the top of a hill , and cocked
my gun to have it ready for the fourth shot. Still
after the dog, I was running my horse down the
other side of a steep hill, when my saddle, which
had been too loosely girted, slipped from the ani-
mal's back down to his neck. My horse, being a
little wild, become frightened at this occurrence
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 235
and commenced to jump and pitch considerably.
I was still in the saddle, and while trying to control
the horse I accidentally pulled the trigger of my
sixshooter, which, as I have stated before, was
cocked. That was an unlucky moment for me
when I touched that trigger and discharged that
gun, and the next few hours meant horrible pain
and suffering, while the following days and weeks
were but little better.
The bullet passed through my thigh, breaking
the bone, and causing the blood to flow freely from
the wound. I fell from the saddle to the ground
and saw my horse turn and run up the hill. When
I discovered that I had broken my leg, I pulled my
boot off and began crawling, dragging the boot
along with me. My boots were of extra fine qual-
ity, and I did not want to lose them ; so after going
about seventy-five yards I hid the boot in a place
where I could easily find it afterwards.
Owing to the nature of the wound, I had to
crawl backwards. A few moments after hiding
the boot I fainted, and when I regained conscious-
ness my fever was so high and my mouth was so
parched with thirst that I crawled to a nearby
The nearest house was two miles away, and, in
trying to reach it, I crawled down this little stream.
In quenching my awful thirst, I drank so much wa-
ter that it cramped me. After four hours in the
creek I took to the land, and tried to shorten my
journey by crawling through the pasture. Some
distance away from the creek I came upon a bunch
of cattle. My leg was still bleeding, and the cat-
tle, scenting the blood, came to me; I wished that
236 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
they had been human beings. They did not know
what to make of me, crawling along in such a
strange manner, and becoming excited they walked
around and around me in a circle, gazing at me all
the while. Suddenly a big Durham bull, with
sharp horns, advanced near me, and looked as if
he was going to tear me up. About five steps
from me he stopped and shook his head, pawed
the earth and bellowed. I wished then that I had
not lost my sixshooter when I fell from my horse
a few hours before. I also remembered my Bill
Cook Winchester, and thought about how quickly
I would shoot this bull if I had it with me. As it
was, I was defenseless, and expected every moment
that the next would be my last. I could do noth-
ing but talk to the beast, and I appealed to his
principle, honor and mercy, and implored him not
to attack me while I was so helpless. My prayer
did not at first appear to have any effect on his
mind and heart. While thus imploring the bull
to go his way, I suddenly discovered that I had
come upon a huge rattlesnake in his coil. I was
within two feet of him when he began to use his
rattles. I was satisfied from his movements that
my time to die had at last arrived, and I felt rather
creepish; but I managed to evade the snake by
crawling around him, and thus ended my troubles
of this nature.
The bull and the snake gone, I resumed my
slow and painful journey. I had to travel by
throwing my body backward with my good leg.
At sundown I reached a barbed wire fence, and was
almost famished for water, after my tedious crawl
of an hour and a half across the pasture. Ex-
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 237
hausted from loss of blood, I leaned my head
against a post to rest. I soon became drowsy,
however, and immediately roused myself to ac-
tion; for I realized that to fall asleep then would
mean death, as my leg continued to bleed and I
was getting weaker all the while. Suddenly I
heard the voice of a boy, and knew that someone
was around. I was satisfied that it was Ray Ben-
nett, the little son of the owner of the ranch, look-
ing for his cows. I called out to him, but the wind
was blowing toward me from his direction and I
could not make him hear. The noise that the lad
made while riding in that part of the pasture
gradually died away, and I knew that he was gone.
The hope that had suddenly leaped into my heart
also departed, and left me in despair.
I was still suffering for water. I knew that
there was an irrigation ditch about thirty yards
on the other side of the fence, but getting to it was
the problem. The fence was too low on the
ground for me to crawl under, and climbing over
it was, of course, out of the question. I thought
of a place, however, about twenty yards further
down, where the wind had blown the sand from
under the fence and left a hole large enough for me
to crawl under. I immediately made my way to
that place and crawled through the hole. When
I had got within fifteen yards of the ditch I looked
up and saw the same little boy whom I had heard
a short time before. I called him to me and asked
him to bring me my hat full of water from the
ditch. He not only brought mine but his own
full, and I drank all the water that my hat would
hold. The boy then summoned his father, who
238 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
brought me stimulants and carried me in a wagon
to his house. This part of the trip was easy for
me, as Mr. Bennett had thoughtfully put a mat-
tress and some quilts in the wagon, so I could rest
I asked Mr. Bennett to send me to my ranch,
six miles away, but he would not think of it, say-
ing that it was too far and that the trip would
make against me. He sent for his wife, who hap-
pened to be at the creek fishing, and they went to
lots of trouble and did everything possible to help
me. My wound had swollen so that my clothing
had to be cut off the injured leg. A fire was quickly
made and a pot of coffee put on for me. Not
wanting to occupy one of their best beds in my
condition, I asked them to make a bed on the
floor and let me lie there ; but they would do noth-
ing of the sort, and placed me in the best bed they
had. I complained that I was too much trouble,
but they assured me that I was, not, and acted as
if it were but a pleasure for them to do for me.
Their manner and cordiality cheered me up, and
made me feel at home. Such is rural hospitality
Mr. Bennett's oldest son, Charley, went to a
line camp nearby and got Charley Smith, who
lived there, to go thirty miles from the camp to a
'phone to summon Dr. Pearson at Amarillo, which
place was twenty-five miles still further on. Dr.
Pearson left Amarillo at two o'clock and reached
me the next morning at eleven — about twenty-
three hours after my accident. My leg was so
badly swollen by that time that the doctor could
do nothing but await developments.
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 239
I stayed at Mr. Bennett's six days and was
treated royally. I shall never forget the kindness
of that family. On Wednesday I was started in
an ambulance to Amarillo, where I was to have
my leg set. I was accompanied on my trip by five
men, who carefully attended to my wants. A
dozen men wanted to go with me, but I told them
that five would be enough. When we reached our
destination — the next day at noon — my friends in
Amarillo met me and rendered me what assistance
and comfort they could.
My leg had been broken so long that it could not
be set straight. One end of the bone overlapped
the other about three inches, which made a diffi-
cult operation for the surgeons.
I had to stay in Amarillo three months, but the
kind ministrations of friends seemed to shorten the
time and ameliorate my suffering. My experience
was terrible, but while undergoing it, I was forci-
bly reminded of the fact that there are many peo-
ple in the world who have real humanity in their
hearts, and who possess much tender sympathy
for those about them who fall victims to trouble
I was tendered financial assistance by the presi-
dents of two banks of Amarillo, Messrs. W. H.
Fuqua and Tol Ware, but, luckily, I did not need
240 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
A Call for Protection
In 1891 I was ranching in Moore County, on the
Canadian River. During that year I went to Dal-
hart, Dallam County, to visit some friends who
had settled there. To get to Dalhart I had to go
to Amarillo, which town was sixty miles from my
ranch, and take the train there for Dalhart.
Dalhart was then a new town on the Rock Is-
land, where that road intersects the Fort Worth
& Denver. It was strictly a railroad town, and
was located thirty-five miles south of Texline, the
county seat. The town and county were supposed
to be "prohibition," but two saloons and several
gambling houses were running "wide open" in di-
rect violation of the law.
These saloons were called "Tom Black" and
"The Beckett," being named after their respective
owners. The sheriff, who lived at Texline, had
three deputies in Dalhart, but they were unable
to put a stop to these violations of the law, and
could not preserve peace and order. When I
reached Dalhart things were in a bad shape, and
a reign of terror existed. The town was filled
with lawless people. Gambling was going on
night and day, and drunkards were always to be
seen staggering along the streets. A lady was not
safe outside of her house. One lady was robbed
in open daylight, and others were insulted by some
of the low characters who daily emerged from the
saloons, soaked with whiskey.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 241
While I was there on a visit, numbers of rob-
beries occurred every night. The better element
of the town were out-numbered by these outlaws,
and were bluffed and scared by them. The law-
lessness that reigned in Dalhart was becoming no-
torious, and the growth and the prosperity of the
town was threatened. The people who were
deeply concerned in the moral and material in-
terests of the town realized that something had to
be done with the outlaws and thugs who infested
the city, and a committee of the best citizens of
that place asked me to move to Dalhart and serve
them as a peace officer. Justice of the Peace R.
P. Edgel; Col. Oaks, the banker; Chapman, the
real estate man, and Sheriff Morris and Col. Al
Boyce were among those who asked me to help
them break up the gang of outlaws who ruled their
town. They offered me a hundred dollars a month
for my services. I told them that it was a hard
proposition to think about, as it was a bad bunch
I would have to deal with, but I asked them for
ten days time to think over their offer. They gave
me the time I asked for, so I left at once for my
ranch to attend to other business, and to think
over their proposition.
Before the time limit expired, I decided to go to
Dalhart and help the people out; so I got on my
horse and rode across the country, it being sixty-
five miles away, and reached Dalhart late in the
evening. The sheriff met me, and I told him to
"swear me in," which he did the next morning.
I knew that I would have to go about my busi-
ness in a determined manner. I also realized that
unless I was careful I would have lots of trouble
242 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
on my hands. I went to work at once and billed
twenty-seven cases against Tom Black for selling
whiskey in a prohibition town and county, and
eighteen cases against Beckett for the same offense.
I also billed cases against Beckett's bartender and
Tom Black's three bartenders. Black then em-
ployed a lawyer, a Mr. Smith of New Mexico, to
represent him. Smith went to Sheriff Morris and
told him that Black said that he would give him
(Morris) fifty dollars if he would discharge me.
Smith then remarked that Black could get along
all right with the sheriff, but he could not stand me,
and again asked Morris if he would not discharge
me for that fifty dollars. The sheriff told him by
no means would he "fire" me; that I was the only
man he had ever had who did not stand in with
the tough element. The sheriff told me later on
about the proposition that the lawyer had made
to him, but told me not to mention it, and I prom-
ised him I would not. When I met Black after-
ward, however, I was sorry I had made the prom-
ise, for I saw I had to break it. Black was coming
down the street, and I called to him and rode into
an alley to meet him.
I asked him if he had promised the sheriff fifty
dollars if he would discharge me, and he answered
that he had. I then asked him what his grievance
was against me. He asked me if I did not summon
the jury that indicted him in twenty-seven cases
for selling whiskey. Of course I did not have any-
thing to do with summoning the grand jury, and
Black ought to have known better than to ask
such a question. I told him that I summoned
Twelve Years in.the Saddle. 243
everyone of them, and asked him how he liked the
He said that they were the liars and damn thieves
of the country, and I told him that he was one of
those jump-backs himself.
At that time I was pulling off my gloves — I was
not going to shoot Black; I was going to " throw
down" on him, and make him listen to what I in-
tended to say. Black thought that I was prepar-
ing to shoot him, as I afterward learned, so he
made a spring and caught me around the waist
pinioning my arms to my side. After scuffling for
quite a while, I finally succeeded in getting my
arm loose from his, and reached down and clutched
his throat. I touched "White Man," my horse,
with my left spur, and made him lean over toward
Black. Black was jerking me all the time, and I
still held to his throat. He finally twisted around
until he got next to a porch, however, which gave
him more power than I had while on my horse.
My sixshooter had been working loosely on my
belt, and his jerking me made it slip around in
front of me. He suddenly loosened his hold on
one side with his right hand and jerked my pistol
from the scabbard. Black was a giant in size,
weighing 225 pounds and measuring six feet and
four inches in height.
I wondered for an instant what he was going to
do with my sixshooter, but I soon saw; for after
getting my gun he broke away from me and made
a long run to his saloon, carrying the weapon with
My Winchester was at the butcher shop on the
opposite side of the street from where the struggle
244 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
went on, and while Black was running to his sa-
loon I popped my spurs to my horse, and he
reached the butcher shop in about three jumps.
I called to Bob Troup to hand me my Winchester,
which he did. I knew there were no cartridges in
it, as I had taken all of them out for fear some
thoughtless person would throw the lever and put
a cartridge in the barrel, and not knowing how to
get it out, and would let it go off and kill someone
out in the street. I asked Troup then to hand me
my belt, and, as he did so, I pulled two cartridges
from it and loaded my rifle.
I was just whirling my house around to fire at
Black, who was then entering the rear of his sa-
loon, when I saw his half brother running toward
me with my sixshooter. I stopped and waited for
him, and when he got to me he said that Tom had
sent my gun back to me. I told him to tell Tom
that I had no intention of killing him, and that if
he would behave himself I would never have to
That night I watched Black's saloon, it being
full of gamblers, robbers and thugs. While watch-
ing the saloon from the outside, I saw two men
walk in and come out in a few minutes. I ar-
rested them, and, searching them, I found on the
person of each man a quart of whiskey. I escorted
the two men to the office of the justice of the peace
and sent for the justice. When he arrived at his
office I made the two men swear under oath where
they bought the whiskey, how much the}^ paid for
it, and from whom they purchased it. I then got
two warrants out for Black, and getting Sheriff
Morris to join me I went back to arrest him. Black
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 245
learned that we were after him, however, and left
the saloon and tried to make his escape. Several
officers joined in the hunt, and we pursued him
Sheriff Morris and Officer Logan went northeast
down the Rock Island track to the depot, while
Bill Garrett and I went northwest.
Pretty soon I saw a man running on the outer
edge of the town, and saw him stop suddenly and
lie down. I said to Bill Garrett, 'That is Black. "
As we started after him, he got up and ran to a
small building nearby.
When I had gotten within twenty-five yards of
the house, and was facing the door, Black called
out and asked if I was Sullivan.
I told him, "Yes."
Then he asked me if it was the sheriff with me.
I told him, "No;" that it was Bill Garrett. Then
I told him to come out of the house and surrender.
He said: "Sullivan, I will surrender, but do not
shoot me nor hurt me."
I replied that I would not hurt a hair on his head
for the world if he did not make a play ; "but if you
do make a bad break," I added, "I will cut you off
at your pockets."
He gave up quietly, and I took him to the office
of the justice of the peace, where I could get a
light and read the warrant to him. I shackled
him then, and carried him on the next train to
Texline, where he was lodged in the county jail.
He remained there nine days and nights before he
gave bond and was released. I met him soon after
he gained his freedom, and had a long talk with
him. He told me that he dreaded to be arrested
246 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
by me that night, on account of the fight which
we had engaged in the day before his arrest.
Black wound up his side of the conversation by
saying, " Sullivan, after what has happened be-
tween us, I shall always give you credit for being
an honest officer. My respect for you has caused
me to resolve to hereafter lead a different life. I
know that I have been violating the law, but I
will quit now, and I would like for you to knock
out all the indictments which you have secured
against me, and I will take oath that I will never
sell another drop of whiskey in the State of Texas. "
I saw the sheriff and district attorney and beg-
ged them to let him take the oath. I expected
them to do so, but they did not agree with me, and
persisted in prosecuting him. Black lived in Dal-
hart for quite awhile after I left there, and was as-
sassinated by someone who shot him from across
the street. The next sheriff — Jno. Webb — and his
son were alleged to have committed the deed, and
were tried, but acquitted. No one knew for cer-
tain who did the snooting.
Beckett and his bartender took the oath that
Black wanted to take and went to Montana, and
I never heard from them again.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 247
Unknown Victim Falls in a Gun Fight at
"December 22, 1901.
"Arrest and hold one Tom Mayers for murder,
as he has no examination, and notify sheriff at
Beaver City, 0. T. Thomas Mayers and Al Zim-
merman left last night to get their money. You
can find them at the Rock Island office in the
morning at Dalhart. Both of these men are about
twenty-eight years of age and they wear a beard
of three weeks growth. Five feet five inches tall.
Both wearing caps. Zimmerman accessory to
"G. O. Neal,
While in Dalhart I received the above telegram
from Mr. Neal, who was working on the railroad
about forty miles out of the city. The message
was handed to me while I was talking to some rail-
road officials in the depot. I immediately wired
Sheriff Morris to come down to Dalhart in the
morning, telling him I wanted to see him on busi-
Fearing that the sheriff was not in Texline and
could not come down to help me, I deputized a
Mr. McCormack to assist me in the case. I told
the sheriff and McCormack, both, to come to a cer-
tain house before daylight.
24:8 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Both men arrived at the house the next morn-
ing, on time, as I had requested, and I told them
that we would go down to the depot before day-
break, so we would not be seen. I did not want
anybody to know that anything was wrong. After
reaching the depot, we went upstairs into the cash-
ier's office and concealed ourselves.
When the cashier arrived at his office we told
him what we were up there for, and I gave him the
names of the two men who were to come for their
money. "When they present their cards/' I told
him, "I want you to notify me."
He assured me that he would, and we lay still
and waited for Mayers and his partner to show up.
About nine o'clock the sheriff went down stairs
and stayed aw^ay quite awhile. When he returned
I told him that he ought to stay with us, as the
men might discover him hanging around the de-
pot, and think something was "up" and not come
in. The sheriff stayed with me then until eleven
thirty o'clock and left me again. I suppose he
grew impatient and thought the men were not
Soon after the sheriff left, the cashier came to
me and informed me that my men were at the
window. Motioning McCormack to follow me/ I
opened the door that led into the hallway. I no-
ticed that there were eight or nine men in the chute
that led to the cashier's window. Every time a
man looked in my direction I motioned him to
In that manner I finally got everybody out, ex-
cept the two men who were next to the window,
and I wanted them to stay where they were.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 249
They were watching the cashier and did not look
around until I took the man nearest me by sur-
prise and ordered him to hold his hands up. Hear-
ing my command he whirled around quickly on his
heels, and, as he did so, I twice again said, "hands
up." When he saw McCormack and me with our
pistols pointing at him, he ran his right hand down
into his vest on the left side, and, as he did that, I
fired, and so did McCormack. We shot at him,
and the firing of our pistols created such a dense
smoke in the little chute that we could not tell
whether the man had a gun or not, and when we
saw he was advancing toward us, we fired again,
hitting him twice in the breast. Mayers was in
front of him, and Zimmerman happened to be out
in the hall, but I didn't know it then, and thought
that the man who ran his hand down into his vest
and advanced on us was one of them, arid Mc-
Cormack and I, both, fired at him. McCormack
shot three times and I fired four times.
After being mortally shot, the victim of our guns
ran out of the chute into the hallway, where he soon
died from his wounds.
Mayers and Zimmerman both emptied their
pistols at me, but only succeeded in hitting the
man who had already received his fatal wounds.
They shot him in the left ear, in the back, and in
the right side. A shot struck Mayers in the chin,
cutting the underpart of it off. The top of his
sleeve was also torn by a stray bullet from Zim-
Before the fight was over, the smoke had become
so dense in the chute and hallway that we had
great difficulty in recognizing each other. Dur-
250 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
ing the, confusion McCormack got on the other
side of the room and came near shooting me, while
firing at the man.
The man who was killed fell with both feet prop-
ped against the facing of the door that led into the
cashier's room. I went to him when the smoke
cleared away, and found at his left side a .44 cart-
ridge and at his right side a .41 Colt's cartridge
that had been snapped, the cap having gone two-
thirds of the way in. His pistol had failed to
shoot, and the smoke caused me not to see it. I
looked around for his gun, but not finding it, I was
satisfied that whoever pulled the dead man out of
the door had taken it.
I stepped back to McCormack and told him that
we had better knock the empties out and reload
our guns as we had one more man to catch. When
I learned that the wrong man had been killed, how T -
ever, I knew that we had both the murderers to cap-
ture, and McCormack and I soon got busy.
Zimmerman and Mayers were running around
in a cluster of excited men, but we picked them
out, and gave chase to Zimmerman, leaving May-
ers behind. The sheriff came up about that time,
and I secured a horse for him and sent him after
Zimmerman, who was trying very hard to make
his escape. Then I summoned seventy-five men
to help me search for Mayers, who I thought was
hiding behind one of the numerous piles of cul-
verts, ties and rails that were stacked in different
places up and down the tracks.
Zimmerman was soon caught by the sheriff and
brought back to me. A lady saw Zimmerman
and Mayers drop two sixshooters in a barrel, and
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 251
she got the weapons and sent them to me a little
while after they were captured.
Mayers was found, after a three hours search, in
a restaurant, bleeding to death from the wound on
his chin, which he had received during the fight.
I took him to a doctor and had him treated. Then
I wired the sheriff at Beaver City, Oklahoma, that
I had his men. He came at once and got them.
An inquest was held over the body of the man
whom we had killed, and we were exonerated.
The grand jury met in June, and they also de-
clared that I was not guilty of murder. They
were of the opinion that if the man had not been
a fugitive from justice, he would not have tried to
pull a gun on me. They further declared that I
did what any other officer should have done under
the same circumstances.
A Last Farewell.
Composed and Written by Dora Brown, October 13, 1902.
Just one year ago today, love,
We said our last good-bye;
We parted in a quarrel —
You know the reason why.
But that is all forgiven,
And I dreamed it o'er and o'er;
Little did we think when parting,
That we'd meet again no more.
Yes, it is all forgiven,
A thousand times and more.
Oh, could it once more happen,
To be forgiven o'er.
But it seems that our paths have parted,
That the hope we have cherished must die —
Your looks and actions are remembered,
Even your saying good-bye.
The world is full of pleasures,
But few if any I see,
Since the one I loved so dearly
Is taken away from me.
My prayers are for a brighter day,
When we may prove our love,
But if we meet no more on earth,
I hope we'll meet above.
254 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Yes, I had rather share your grief
Than other people's glee.
While you are nothing to the world,
You are all the world to me.
I once saw sunshine in your smiles,
Heard music in your tone;
I oft recall your words of love
When I am all alone.
Once you were my betrothed,
Noble, brave and true;
The love that gleamed in your brown eyes
Was as gentle as the dew.
As fearless as our patriots,
Who have braved the storms of sea,
You have roamed the West all over
With a heart that beat for me.
Then you were a gay cowboy,
Your life was happy and free;
There was nothing then to blight your joys,
And pleasure was in store for me.
We vowed to wed and never part,
The wedding day was set ;
On Christmas night with hand and heart
Our vows we'd plight, to ne'er regret.
But cruel fate has on us frowned,
My prayers were all in vain;
My darling in the sentence found
Seven long years to remain.
At Fowler in a convict camp
My loved one toils each day,
While one at home with bleeding heart
For him dost watch and pray.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 255
The saloon at Dalhart caused this war;
The man was not to blame.
For in this business we all know,
Many men are brought to shame.
Don't let this hurt your feelings, love,
And blame me not, my own dear Ed;
For all will be forgotten here
When we are numbered with the dead.
My motto is, I will be true,
My vows will never change;
I love none half so well as you,
As long as life remains.
No other love my heart can wake,
No matter where I rove,
The promise I shall never break —
I am going to prove true to the one I love.
This July 12, 1908.
I knew this lady well. She used to live in Hutchinson
county, Texas. She composed this poem for Ed while living
in Channing, Texas, and sent it to him while he was in the
penitentiary. W. J. L. Sullivan.
Texas Bangers after the Mob.
Governor Culberson, from among the rest,
Chose four Bangers, whom he thought best.
He ordered us to San Saba to put down crime —
We met in Goldthwaite, all on time.
Two from the Panhandle, two from the Bio Grande,
Which made a jolly little Banger band.
256 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
We stopped at a hotel to stay all night.
From what the people said, we expected a fight.
They puffed and blowed, and said we were in danger.
For a bushwhacker didn't like a Eanger.
We laughed at such talk, and considered it fun;
But wherever we went, we carried our gun.
We had a sixshooter, a Winchester, too,
That would shoot a buffalo through and through.
Next morning at early dawn,
We were off to San Saba, "as sure as you're born."
In a wagon, with sheet and bows,
How we stood it, the good Lord knows.
The roads were rough as rough could be —
Why it did not kill us, I cannot see.
Over mountains and hills, through the dust,
Over rocks, till I thought die I must.
We stopped in San Saba all that night,
Still expecting a hard little fight.
We rose next morning, gathered up our tricks,
Our camping outfit we began to fix.
We got a pair of mules, and a wagon, too —
Cooking utensils, and something to chew.
We wanted a cook, for we expected to be slain,
So the job was given to Buck Chamberlain.
We stopped in town a day or two.
Met some of the girls, as pretty as ever we knew.
Then to the Colorado Eiver we soon did go.
When to return we did not know.
The sheriff went along to pilot us through.
He knew the country — Buck did, too.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 257
We stopped at noon: got something to eat.
For economy, Buck was hard to beat.
He got on the wagon, taking a chew,
And said, "Come on, boys; better go through."
He drove into the creek his lines all slack,
Stalled his mules, and then looked back.
Sullivan, Barker and Edgar Neal,
All jumped oft' and grabbed a wheel.
Maddox jumped off and grabbed one, too.
Buck hit old Jack, and yelled, "Get up, Sue !"
We made it to the Eiver, and pitched our tent ;
To have a mess of fish we were all bent.
Still we were hearing a lot of the mob,
But we felt as though we were onto our job.
We rode over the country, went where we pleased,
But kept our eyes on all the big trees.
So we sent to Sheriff Bell, for a good watch-dog,
It would tickle you to death to see him catch a hog.
He caught by the tail, dropped down behind —
They went over that hill simply flying.
Here are the Texas Bangers, I know it is a hard life ;
You had better find a girl and ask her to be your wife.
Now, if you trust in God, He will carry you through.
So good-bye, Banger boys, Fll bid you adieu.
Composed by Allen Maddox, Co. D., Bio Grande; W. J. L.
Sullivan, Sergt. Co. B., Panhandle.
January 11, 1897.
258 Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle.
The Cowboy's Hymn.
When 1 think of the last great round-up
On the eve of eternity's dawn,
I think of the host of the cowboys
That have been with us here and have gone.
I think of those big-hearted fellows,
Who'll divide with you blanket and bread,
With a piece of stray beef well roasted,
And charge for it never a red.
I wonder if any will greet me
On the sands of that evergreen shore,
With a hearty God bless you, old fellow,
That you've met with so often before.
And I often look upward and wonder
If the green fields will seem half so fair
If any the wrong trail have taken
And fail to be over there.
The trail that leads down to perdition
Is paved all the way with good deeds,
But in the great round-up of ages,
Dear boys, this won't answer your needs.
The trail to green pastures, tho' narrow,
Leads straight to the home in the sky,
And Jesus will give you your passport
To the land in the sweet by and by.
Jesus has taken the contract
To deliver all those who believe,
At the headquarters ranch of the Father,
In the great range where none can deceive.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 259
The inspector will stand at the gateway
Where the herd, one and all, must go by,
And the round-up by the angels in judgment
Must pass 'neath his all-searching eye.
No maverick nor slicks will be tallied
In that great book of life in His home,
For He knows all the brands and the ear-marks
That down thro' all ages have come.
But along with the strays and the sleepers
The tailings must turn from the gate,
No road brand to give them admission,
But that awful sad cry, "Too late !"
But I trust in that last great round-up,
When the rider shall cut the big herd,
That the cowboy will be represented
In the ear-mark and brand of the Lord.
To be shipped to that bright, mystic region
Over there in green pastures to lie,
And lead by the crystal still waters
To the home in the sweet by and by.
There's an upland field near the Huntsville stream,
Where the grass grows rank and tall.
A place of dread to cherished hearts
When the evening shadows fall.
The laugh is hushed, the voice grows mute,
It is passed with a quickened tread —
That little spot on God's green earth
Where lies the convict dead.
260 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
How many lives that have promised fair
In boyhood's early prime
Have found their resting place up there,
That's marked with, those of crime?
God grant that in their former days
They have done some deeds of love
That will balance all their erring ways
In the book of life above.
There's many a boy that has gone astray,
Yes, many a mother's pride,
And among the dead are laid away
On Huntsville's green hillside.
They perhaps are listening for his steps
That in death are forever still,
And watching for the form that lies
In Huntsville's graveyard hill.
Composed by A. E. Hillin, Clayton, New Mexico, July 12,
I, W. J. Sullivan, caught this man in Dalhart while
stationed there holding down crime.
Song Ballad op the Dying Eanger.
The sun was sinking in the west,
And fell with a lingering ray
Through the branches of the forest
Where the dying Eanger lay.
Beneath the shade of a palmetto,
And the silvery sunset sky,
Far away from his home in Texas,
We laid him down to die
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 261
A group that gathered around him,
His comrades in the fight,
The tears rolled down each manly cheek
As they bid him a last good-night.
One friend, a loved companion,
Was kneeling by his side,
Striving to quench the life-blood flow,
But alas, in vain he tried.
His heart was filled with anguish,
When he found it all in vain,
As over each loved companion's cheeks
The tears rolled down like rain.
TJp spoke the dying Hanger,
Saying, "Weep no more for me;
I am crossing over the river,
Where all beyond is free.
"Come, gather close around me,
And listen to what I say;
I am going to tell a story
While my spirit hastes away.
Ear away in loved old Texas,
That good old Lone Star State,
There is one that will wait my coming,
With a weary heart she will wait.
"A fair young girl, my sister,
My only hope and pride,
My only care from childhood,
I have none else beside.
I've nourished and I've cherished,
Her lonesome heart to cheer,
She loves, oh, so fondly,
And she is to me so dear.
262 Twelve Years, in the Saddle.
When our country was in danger
And called for volunteers,
Sister threw her arms around me
And bursted into tears.
Saying, 'Go, my darling brother,
Drive the Indians from our shore.
My heart shall need your presence,
But our country needs you more. 7
"My mother, she lies sleeping
Beneath the churchyard sod,
And many a year has passed and gone
Since her spirit went to God.
My father lies perished
Beneath the dark blue sea.
I've no father, I've no mother,
There is only Nell and me.
"I know I love my country,
I have given to her my all,
And had it not been for my sister,
I would be content to fall.
I am dying, comrades, dying,
She will see me never more,
But in vain she will wait my coming
At the little cottage door.
"Come, gather close around me,
And listen to my dying prayer.
You will be to her a brother,
And shield with a brother's care?"
The Eangers spoke together,
As one voice seemed to fall,
"She will be to us a sister,
We will guard her, one and all."
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 263
One short, brief look of anguish
O'er his youthful face was spread;
One quick, repulsive shadow,
And the Eanger boy was dead.
On the banks of the old Nueces
We laid him down to rest,
With a saddle for a pillow,
x4nd a Lone Star on his breast.
July 29, 1897. W. E. Stiles.
The Old Cowboy of the Plains.
Written by a Mountain Buffalo Hunter — Jim Williams.
The day is bleak and cold and drear,
Summer is gone and winter is near;
The cold blue air upholds no birds,
And the cattle drift south in rustling herds.
The cowboy's round-up and trail work's done,
He hangs up his saddle, his spurs, and his gun,
He turns out his ponies on the mesquite grass,
And rustles the shippers for a homeward pass.
If he can't get a pass he will rustle the freights
Until he gets back to his home in the States.
He crossed the broad plains way back in '68,
When mules and ox-wagons hauled all the freight;
The California route was the usual trail,
And the stage coach and ponies carried the mail.
He would tell tales all winter of the long, long ago,
Of Indians on the prairies, and the herds of buffalo.
When you hear him sing his songs all so sad,
You'd think after all — he is not so bad.
"It's bury me not in the lone prairie,
264: Twelve Years in tpie Saddle.
Where the wild coyotes will howl o'er me,
Where the wild rose blooms, and the wind sports free,
Oh, bury me not on the lone prairie."
Then again he would laugh and fill with mirth,
And tell of Broncho that quits the earth,
Or when he was called out in the dead hour of night
To check a stampede, or Indians to fight.
From Texas to Montana he followed the trail,
And at Denver and Cheyenne he expected his mail.
None but old cowboy can realize or ever know
The dangers and hardships we experienced from South Texas
to mountain peaks of snow.
Through blinding rain and sunshine — though the days and
nights were long,
The weeks and months were rolling while he sung his cow-
Trail on, Dogies, Montana is your home,
From the salt grass and cactus to the north plains you must
With his saddle for a pillow under his head,
The grass of the prairie served him for his bed.
Often he watched the bright stars until almost day,
Thinking of his home and sweetheart so far away.
He rejoices when frost falls, and he sees the Autumn moon,
For his work is about over, and he is going home soon.
He said to the boys as he boarded the train,
'"You will never see me on the plains again.
This cowboy life is tough and all too sad.
I'll buy me a farm and settle down beside my old dad.
Just think of the big red apples, and my brown-eyed Sue,
And the good times that's coming to me down in old
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 265
He arrives home for Christmas, or perhaps Thanksgiving da) 7 ,
When the old folks are happy, and the yonng folks are gay.
The girls are all smiling on reckless broncho rider,
And are treating him to home-made candy, ginger cakes, and
While one old couple were pleased, they were saying "Now,
We know very well for whom you are making that 'lasses'
I wouldn't go to any trouble for him if I were you,
For he is desperately in love with your little cousin Sue."
So winter after winter the boys drifted home from the West.
And each girl in her linsey done her level best
To corral the wild cowboy and tame him down
And keep him from getting drunk and shooting up the town.
These boys seemed restless, and loved to chase the "Long
Instead of being a nester and plowing the green corn.
He took in the theaters, the varieties and dance,
And took a sly drink whenever there was a chance.
He would seldom go home for his dinner at noon,
For he was watching some game in a down town saloon.
And on bologna, cheese and crackers he would feed,
While he told some tenderfoot of a big stampede.
His money all spent, he barely escapes jail,
And resolves once more to hit the cowboy trail.
Many years have passed, now, and the old folks are dead,
He don't go home winters, but is a line rider instead.
So alone in his dug-out through the long winter nights he
Listening to the wail of the winds, and the wolves on the
hills not far away.
266 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Quietly and slowly he is filling his pipe with long green
And thinking of the trials and hardships he has seen.
It's strange he did not save up some of his gains before it
was too late, .
And buy that little farm back in his old native State ;
For his girl sure loved him, and for him would still be
If it had not been for a young farmer back in the States.
So sadly and slowly he thinks as he smokes,
And is wondering who is now telling the tenderfoot's jokes.
He had been a Texas Eanger, and stood for many a year,
A target for desperadoes without a thought of fear.
Spring opens at last on the far distant plain,
And the line rider comes out in his saddle again.
He is dashing and bold, but he is getting quite old,
And the story of another cowboy will soon be told.
And as he lay on the ground and gazed at the same bright
stars in June,
He felt that his time was coming soon
To join the old cowboys who had gone before
To the great Eternal Round-up on the other shore.
His life had been wrecked, and he felt that he must soon die,
And he wondered if there was a home for the cowboys in
the Sweet By-and-By.
And if on the other side of Jordan in the green fields of Eden,
Where the Tree of Life is blooming — if there is rest for me.
"I have rode my last broncho," to the boys he had said,
While out on the prairie he made down his bed.
Alas, it was too true, for just before dawn
To the great Eternal Bound-up his spirit had gone.
Then we dug a shallow grave, just six by three,
And buried him out on the lone prairie.
J. R. Williams.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 267
House of Representatives,
State of Texas.
Whereas, Captain W. J. L. Sullivan was elected
doorkeeper of the Thirty-First Legislature, at the
beginning of the Regular Session, and has served
in that capacity with distinction, and
Whereas, He has always been on time, and has
never been absent from duty during the entire ses-
Whereas, During all the calls of the House he
was always courteous, but firm as the "Rock of
Whereas, He has performed all the duties of
Doorkeeper in a most efficient manner, therefore
Resolved, By the House of Representatives that
the House extends to him its sincere thanks for so
faithfully discharging all of his duties as Door-
District Clerk's Office, Tarrant County.
W. D. McVean, Clerk,
Mike E. Smith, Judge, 17th Dist.
Irby Dunklin, Judge, 48th Dist.
Ft. Worth, Texas, January 9, 1902.
W. J. L. Sullivan, Esq., Dalhart, Texas.
My Dear Friend : I am in receipt of your let-
ter of recent date telling me of the unfortunate oc-
curence which resulted in the death of a man at
your hands in your attempt to make an arrest of
another. I had also read of the affair in the news-
268 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
papers, and was much grieved to learn of it, both
on your account as well as on account of the one
who was killed. I have known you well ever since
I was a child, and feel assured beyond the possi-
bility of a doubt that the killing was an honest
mistake on your part. I have never heard you
charged of doing any living person a wilful wrong,
and knowing your noble, generous nature as I do,
I know you are incapable of such an act. Your
brave, honest nature would not permit you to take
even an unfair advantage of an enemy in a con-
flict, much less to wilfully kill an innocent man
whom you did not know and against whom you
had no grievance. While the affair was most un-
fortunate and deeply to be deplored, I have no
doubt but that any officer in your position at the
time, and viewing the surroundings as you did,
would have done likewise. I consider the whole
occurrence more as an accident, or as the result of
accidental circumstances, than otherwise, and I
sincerely sympathize with you in your deep re-
grets over it all. No one who knows and believes
in you, as I do, will censure you under all the cir-
Your friend sincerely,
Last Letter Written by 4 Condemned Man.
On October 27, 1899, Rev. G. E. Morrison was
hanged in Vernon for the murder of his wife in
Panhandle City in the spring of that year. This
was one of the most celebrated and remarkable
murders, trials and executions that has ever
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 269
occurred in Texas, and attracted more attention,
perhaps, in the State and Indian Territory than
any case for many years, owing to the character
and profession of the man. Captain John L. Sul-
livan, now of the Capitol police force, assisted in
the execution of Morrison at Vernon, October 27,
1899. On the night previous, Captain Sullivan,
who was on the death watch, requested the con-
demned man to write him a note that he might
preserve it as a remembrance. He indited the
following letter, which has never before been pub-
lished, the original of which Captain Sullivan has
in his possession:
"Vernon, Texas, October 26, 1899.
"Dear Sir: You have asked me to write some-
thing that you can keep to remember the occasion
of our meeting. I don't know what to say to you,
but I hope the following may be entirely satis-
"First, I believe in a future life, and I believe
that men are punished for the sins of this life and
are rewarded for the good things. Second, I be-
lieve in a general judgment and all must stand in
that day before the bar of God and be judged. I
believe I have the witness of God's spirit bearing
witness with my own spirit, and believe that,
though God allows man's law to take my life, yet
he saves me, and I have no fears of the future
"Now, good-bye, and may you ever be the cham-
pion of the right and an enemy of the wrong.
"Your well wisher,
"G. E. Morrison."
270 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
A Tribute of Honor.
Aberdeen, Texas, August 18, 1893.
At a meeting of our citizens today the follow-
ing resolutions were adopted:
Whereas, On or about April 1, 1893, Corporal
W. J. L. Sullivan, of Company B, Texas State
Rangers, established headquarters in our midst
to investigate charges of cattle stealing and other
lawlessness preferred by certain private individ-
uals, whose object in calling on the State for Rang-
ers we believe to have been the intimidation of set-
Whereas, Corporal Sullivan, upon coming here
had a one-sided story and the prejudice of our peo-
ple against him, and might very easily have pre-
cipated much trouble, but by his cool-headed,
careful and thorough investigation, conducted in
a gentlemanly manner, he succeeded in tracing
these false accusations against our community to
their source, and by his diplomacy averted trou-
Whereas, Corporal Sullivan has been recalled;
now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That we, the undersigned citizens of
Aberdeen, desire to thank Corporal Sullivan for
his manly treatment of us all, and for his valuable
services to our community while located here; and
Resolved, That we recommend Corporal Sullivan
to his superior officer as an officer we believe to be
possessed of the necessary nerve and ability to per-
form the most difficult task in his line, and one well
Twelve Years in the Saddle.
calculated to make the ranger force respected and
popular among the people; and be it further
Resolved, That these resolutions be sent to Cor-
poral Sullivan, and that a copy of the same be fur-
nished the following papers for publication : Fort
Worth Gazette, Quanah Chief, Amarillo Northwest
and Memphis Herald.
E. E. McCollister,
W. A. Detherage,
J. R. Hill,
S. F. Booker,
T. E. Walker.
T. O. Jones,
J. N. Jones,
M. C. Starkey,
S. E. Tomlinson,
T. E. Walker,
W. E. Johnson,
J. G. Wright,
S. L. Blake,
J. A. McCracken,
J. H. White,
D. A. Goodwin,
J. W. Ammons.
J. C. Walker,
T. B. Starkey,
A. L. Walker,
W. P. Bumpass.
I hewed to the line and let the chips fall where
they may and won the victory. Thank God my
motto is do right and go ahead.
W. J. L. Sullivan,
Ex-Sergeant of Company B, Texas Rangers.
(Copied August 23, 1906, by G. C. Morriss.)
272 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Austin, Texas, August 1, 1906.
Sergeant W. J. L. Sullivan, City.
My Dear Fellow: I am glad to bear testi-
mony to the brave and faithful service you ren-
dered your State as a Texas Ranger during a long
series of years of arduous duties. I know you love
Texas far more than thousands who have pro-
claimed their patriotism from political platforms.
I have not forgotten the dark days of ten to
twenty years ago when, in many localities, the
presence of the Texas Rangers was the only thing
that gave hope of protection of life and property;
the years of awful dread that hung over the coun-
ties bordering on the Colorado River, from Milburn
to BlufTton, which saw the first rift in the lowering
clouds of mob rule, when you and your little band
of rangers " struck camp" in the very heart of the
"mob country/' and by fearless vigilance, abso-
lutely untiring, day and night, at last brought as-
surance of law and order to that terror-stricken
It was my privilege to see much of you in that
dangerous position and undertaking, and my pleas-
ure to know that the courage, tact and skill dis-
played by you under many trying conditions met
with the praise of all fair-minded citizens. And,
too, I was a distressed onlooker and interested with
painful regret the unfortunate accident that befell
you one cold December day in 1896, resulting from
your extreme desire to lend every aid to the county
authorities in ferreting out crime. The sheriff
rushed up to you saying: "John L., let one of your
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 273
boys go after Del Dean, a horse thief, who has just
left town. He was indicted by the grand jury."
There were none of your "boys " in hailing distance,
so you said " What's the matter with me " and was
now chasing that coyote through the mountain
brakes south of the town, where "Old Sorrel" made
an airship of you and your ordnance of dynamite
shells in an unannounced rehearsal of a "high som-
ersaulting performance," I suppose, although I had
not noticed any bill-posters about town that day.
During the "rehearsal" you went on a strike, two
strikes in fact, one for high air and then for a soft
spot to alight, which was about a solid acre of
"honeycomb" limestone, where the citizens' com-
mittee of lawyers and doctors spent several hours
tenderly, and with suppressed curses, gathered up
the fragments and carting them to town. There
were no rocks left on that acre, you and the dyna-
mite cartridges had not done a thing to them.
I think you still carry a souvenir of that per-
formance somewhere about your right wrist. You
merit the gratitude of every friend of law and or-
der, by your long, courageous, faithful service as
a Texas Ranger of the true type, ever ready, never
tiring, and always civil, courteous and sober.
Texas never had a more zealous and fearless ranger
in her service, is the way I size you up, and this is
endorsed by hundreds of men scattered from here
to the lonely dugout in the Indian Territory, where
Beckham passed in his checks one bitter cold night
when "Old John L.," far in the van, grew impatient
for the others to arrive, and charged the outlaws.
You carry a broken rib, I believe, as a memento of
that little fracas. Your friend,
274 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Turner and Boyce,
Amarillo, Texas, December 26, 1904.
To the Members-elect of the Twenty-ninth Legisla-
It has just come to my knowledge that Mr. W.
J. L. Sullivan, late of Company B, Frontier Bat-
talion of Texas, will be an applicant for the posi-
tion of Doorkeeper of the House of Representa-
tives, and, as a citizen of Texas who feels a deep
interest in securing the very best material to fill
the various places of public trust, I wish to add my
testimony to the deserving worth of Mr. Sullivan.
I have known Mr. Sullivan for over fifteen years,
during a large portion of which time he was sta-
tioned at Amarillo as one of the rangers of Com-
pany B, and, if my memory is not at fault, he was
for some time First Sergeant of that company here.
He has always been one of the most zealous and
faithful officers it has ever been my pleasure to
know. He was always unflinching in his high re-
gard for and devotion to duty. It is his nature to
be passionately loyal to the enforcement of the
laws, and so well-known is his courage and fidelity
to duty that his name has long been a constant
terror to evil-doers. His fearlessness in the face
of danger, and his sterling integrity was, during
his stay with us, a reassuring safeguard of our pro-
tection against violators of the law. No matter
how desperate the criminal whose capture was de-
sired, nor how many hardships were to be endured
in his pursuit, there was never the slightest degree
of hesitancy on the part of Mr. Sullivan, or "John
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 275
L.," as he is familiarly known. He was always
ready and anxious to do his whole duty, and his
valuable services have been highly beneficial to the
Besides being a splendid officer, Mr. Sullivan is
a sober, honorable and reliable man. He stands
high among the people who know him best, and he
has many friends throughout this section who feel
that his long and faithful services to the State, the
many hardships which he endured, and the exam-
ple which he set for the public good, ought to be
rewarded now with the position which he seeks.
Very truly yours,
Thos. F. Turner.
San Saba, Texas, January 25, 1902.
To the Grand Jury of Dallam County, Texas, at
their next regular session in and for said county:
I have learned with regret of the trouble my old
friend, John L. Sullivan, has had recently in your
county in trying to arrest two murderers, which he
had been notified and requested to do, and, know-
ing John L. as I do, and feeling the interest in him
and his welfare that I do, and having good reasons
for it that I have, I hope you will excuse me for
writing on the subject, which is not done to try
and influence you corruptly or wrongfully, but
that you consider his character and disposition
along with the actions you may deem necessary
to investigate and take action on, in connection
with the unfortunate affair John L. got into, and
that you may do your duty and act justly in the
276 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
I have known Mr. Sullivan for the last ten or
twelve years as an officer and law-abiding citizen,
and State ranger as a man that is always ready to
try to do his duty fearlessly. I was District At-
torney in the Forty-sixth Judicial District of Texas
under G. A. Brown, the District Judge, and in some
of the counties in my district I had some just such
characters to deal with in my prosecutions as those
murderers Sullivan ran onto in your country, and
they would form clans to try to intimidate and de-
ter me from prosecuting them vigorously, and my
District Judge often deemed it necessary to call on
the Governor for State rangers to come to the
courts for my protection and safety. John L. Sul-
livan was always sent as sergeant of a squad of
rangers to protect me and preserve order in the
court, and John L. always accomplished the pur-
pose for which he was sent, and did it wisely and
fearlessly, and proved himself one of the best and
most cautious, as well as determined, officers I
ever saw or knew. He has come in contact with
such daring, desperate characters so often, and
knows their plays so well, that he can't afford to
wait, when he sees a criminal make an obstinate
play, when he is trying to arrest him, and the ques-
tion in this case, as it seems, was whether he should
wait and delay his opportunity until him or his as-
sistant, or both, were shot down by the outlaws;
or, whether as a good officer, he should do his duty
at once, and out of the abundance of caution beat
his desired prisoners shooting, when the first in-
timation of the outlaws indicated their purpose,
and in the furore and excitement, and so many
shooting on both sides — one to enforce the maj-
Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle. 277
esty of the law and the other to resist it — it is hard
to tell whose bullets did the killing. All good cit-
izens should uphold the majesty of the law and the
officers of the law in the discharge of their duty.
I am not dictating to you, Gentlemen, but I do
not want you to be deceived in the character of
Mr. Sullivan. Begging your pardon for troubling
you this much, I am truly yours for justice and
right, be that in favor or against my old friend.
(Signed) G. W. Walters,
Dalhart, Texas, January 12, 1903*
To Whom it May Concern:
I take pleasure in pleading the cause of my old
friend, John L. Sullivan. I have known him long,
and know him to be a brave, good man and a Chris-
tian gentleman. Long he has served in Western
Texas. He has spent the best part of his life in
its service, arways ready to defend the right and
fight the wrong. I have seen, in new Western
towns — even right here in Dalhart, in its infancy —
robberies and lawlessness of all kinds committed
John L. Sullivan came, and it was like a calm
before a mighty storm, wrestling with unseen dan-
ger, but he was there calm and immovable, brave
as a lion, ready to do his duty and serve his peo-
ple. And now, dear friends, I think he deserves
something at the hands of the people he has served
so long and faithfully. Long live my old friend
and his name long after he is gone. " Honor to
whom honor is due" has always been my motto.
278 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
There is no man in Western Texas more deserving
than John L. Sullivan, the faithful discharger of
(Signed) Mrs. M. S. Jackson.
Flack & Dalrymple,
Llano, Texas, July 29, 1907.
To Governor Geo. Curry, Santa Fe, N. M.
My Dear Sir: I take great pleasure in recom-
mending to your most favorable consideration my
old friend, Capt. W. J. L. Sullivan; I understand
he will be an applicant for a captaincy of mounted
police under your administration; if so, you can
find no better man for the position. I have known
him as an officer for the past twenty-five years,
and when I say he has at all times done his full
duty I speak only the truth, and when it can be
said of a man that he has faithfully discharged his
duty, no more need be said, for in that sentence is
contained sufficient to a business man like your-
self; however, I will further say that Capt. Sulli-
van has been with a Texas Ranger force for the
past twelve years, and in that capacity he has been
called to the aid of our peace officers from one end
of our State to the other. His field of action has
been mostly confined to West Texas, where he has
had to contend with all character of violators of
the law, from the midnight assassin to the petty
thief, but his best work has been done in dealing
with what is known in central West Texas as the
Twelve Years .in" the Saddle. 279
"mob;" I speak of this because his work in that
line came under my direct observation. In rid-
ding that portion of our State of the "mob" Texas
owes Capt. Sullivan a debt of gratitude she can
never pay. He is a man of great executive abil-
ity, nature having done much for him in that way ;
cool, calm and deliberate in action, and in whose
make-up the word "fear" has no abiding place
"in any fiber of his existence." During his long
career as an officer he has been called to face danger
in its every form, and he has yet to show the "white
feather," for he has never done so up to this hour.
Having been brought frequently "face to face"
with the very worst element of the West Texas
desperado, he has never come in contact with a
sufficient number to check him from his duty. He
has courage without rashness, and his experience
as an officer would aid him greatly in dealing with
the character of men you want controlled ; he knows
them as few men know them; he knows the best
method of dealing with them, and I am sure he
would make you a valuable man anywhere you
may place him.
My dear sir, in writing you as I have, in behalf
of Capt. Sullivan, I have not indulged in fulsome
praise, but simply speak truthful words which
came direct from my heart. I have not gone into
detail, because I know your time is too valuable to
be thus consumed. Myself, in common with a host
of Capt. Sullivan's friends out West, would be much
pleased if you could find it consistent with your
duty to give him a place under your administra-
tion; he is worthy of it, and I feel sure you would
never have cause to regret it. Captain Sullivan's
280 Twelve Yeaes in the Saddle.
personal integrity is above reproach, and his cour-
age is unsurpassed.
Hoping your administration will prove a bless-
ing to your people, and with best regards, I am,
Yours very respectfully,
(Signed) Jas. Flack,
Ex-Member Texas Legislature (not Thirtieth.)
Dalhart, Texas, January 8, 1903.
To Whom it May Concern:
I am very much pleased to write this letter in
behalf of our much appreciated friend, Mr. John
L. Sullivan. If, perchance, it may through some
divine power or influence, find its way to a de-
serving community who needs and is able to pay
for the services of a faithful, much deserving offi-
cer and Christian gentleman, which we Dalhart
people have found in the person of Mr. Sullivan.
His presence in our midst is like a ray of sunshine
in time of storm, both as a firm, kind-spoken of-
ficer — whom he thinks would feel sadly disgraced
should he for a moment shrink from his duty or
betray any trust reposed in him — and a friendly
Christian visitor. We regret very much to lose him
from our little town, which he served so faithfully.
His memory, I dare say, will be like letters of
gold in pictures of silver when we think of the re-
formation wrought by his services, and wherever
he may go we bid him God speed.
(Signed) Mrs. S. Hoffman.
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 281
Douglassville, Texas, February 13, 1908.
Gov. George Curry, Santa Fe, N. M.
Dear Sir : I am now about to engage in a duty
that we owe to each other, our fellow man; I am
now recommending to you a friend, a man that I
know to be true to his country and true to his fel-
low man in every sense of the word. The man
that I present to you is the Hon. W. J. L. Sulli-
van; I have known him for forty years. He is an
honorable, truthful, sober Christian gentleman as
ever lived, and if you can help Mr. Sullivan I will
appreciate the favor, and he has many friends in
this country that will consider it a great favor.
(Signed) W. B. Heath,
Justice of the Peace, Cass County, Texas.
Douglassville, Texas, February 9, 1908.
Gov. George Curry, Santa Fe, N. M.
Dear Sir: The gentleman who presents this
to you is Capt. W. J. L. Sullivan, a citizen of this
place, who visits your city on personal business,
and any courtesies shown him will be gratefully
appreciated by his many friends throughout Texas.
For many years he has served our State as one
of the Rangers, and in other responsible ways, and
has always been true to every trust and faithful
and honest to every friend, and a terror to evil-
doers. Hence, it is, I take pleasure in handing
you this indorsement of an honest man.
(Signed) W. D. Stone.
282 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
Douglass ville, Texas, February 14, 1908.
Gov. George Curry, Santa Fe, N. M.
Dear Sir: I take this occasion to introduce
to you the bearer of this letter, Mr. W. J. L. Sul-
livan, whom I have known personally for forty
years. Mr. Sullivan is generous, honorable, and,
in fact, one of Nature's noblemen.
He served in the capacity of State Ranger for
twelve years, with great credit to himself and an
honor to the State of Texas. Mr. Sullivan visits
your State on private business.
Any advice and assistance you may render will
be highly appreciated by him, and duly acknowl-
edged by myself.
}M Believing that your acquaintance will be mu-
tual and agreeable, I am,
(Signed) T. G. Howe, M. D.
February 5, 1908.
Gov. George Curry, Santa Fe, N. M.
Dear Sir: This will introduce to your favora-
ble acquaintance my friend, Mr. W. J. L. Sullivan,
whom I have favorably known for more than thir-
ty-five years. Mr. Sullivan has been" an officer as
State Ranger for twelve years, in which position
he rendered efficient and a valuable service to our
I can truthfully say that Mr. Sullivan is a truth-
ful, reliable, sober gentleman, and stands pre-emi-
nently high with all Texans as an officer and pub-
My friend, Sullivan, visits your State on private
Twelve Years in the Saddle. 283
business of his own. Anything that you can do
for him, or favors rendered, will be highly appre-
ciated by the writer.
(Signed) A. C. Smith.
Douglassville, Texas, February 13, 1908.
Gov. George Curry, Santa Fe, N. M.
Dear Sir: This will be handed to you by my
friend, Mr. W. J. L. Sullivan, whom I have known
from his boyhood, and cheerfully recommend him
to the favorable consideration and confidence of
Any favors shown him will be duly appreciated
by his many friends in Cass County, Texas.
(Signed) A. C. Oliver, M. D.
The Ex-Ranger Recovering.
A BRAVE AND FEARLESS MAN WHO HAS TAKEN
Ex-Ranger Sergeant W. J. L. Sullivan (better
known as "John L.") is rapidly improving from
the recent accident which occurred at his ranch
north of town some two months ago. As a full
account was given in these columns at the time,
it is not necessary to refer to it again.
Sullivan's first experience as a ranger was in
1888, under Captain McMurry, who was then
284 Twelve Years in the Saddle.
commanding Company B of the State Ranger
force. Since that time Sullivan has been a
terror to the lawbreakers of the State and has
succeeded in running down more criminals than
any other Ranger ever in the service, before or
Eminently possessed of those sturdy qualities
which go to make up a successful executive
officer, Sullivan has justly earned a distinction
as broad as that State, which he so faithfully
Quiet, cool, and always sober, he stood when
in the service without a peer in the State as an
executive officer. He made some enemies, it is
true, but so has every other officer who has dis-
charged his duty as honestly and as fearlessly as
he did. It is not necessary to enumerate numer-
ous scouts and various expeditions led and the
important captures made, as they are a part of
the criminal annals of our State. Wish you an
immediate recovery, John L., and may you live
many years to rest on the laurels you have so
justly won. — Amarillo Northwest.
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